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PAL offers to expand NAIA 2 for P20B

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is eyeing to expand the existing Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at a cost of P20 billion ($400 million) extending the existing terminal to include adjacent properties of the Philippine Village Hotel, formerly Nayong Pilipino, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

Jaime Bautista, PAL president, in a   presentation at the Management Association of the Philippines  membership meeting yesterday, showed an architect’s perspective of its  proposed annex building which would be designed to handle 12 to 15 million passengers per year.

The proposed terminal would have aerobridges capable of serving 12 to 17 wide-bodied and single aisle jets.

PAL operations in other NAIA terminals will then be transferred to the new facility that is eyed to be completed by 2020.

Bautista said NAIA Terminal 2 which PAL has been using exclusively since 1999, has far exceeded its maximum capacity as it was originally built as a domestic airport during the Ramos administration, servicing 42 million passengers a year compared to its capacity of 30 million passengers.

The planned 89,000-square meter air terminal, equivalent to 200 basketball courts north of NAIA 2, would help decongest the airport and provide PAL passengers much-deserved space, amenities and modern conveniences, Bautista said.

Aside from the passenger terminal, the complex will include multi-level parking for 1,000 vehicles, a new cargo terminal and ground service facilities.

The facility will rise on a 16-hectare area adjacent to NAIA 2, comprising of the now-defunct Philippine Village Hotel, the former Nayong Pilipino complex and a property owned by Pagcor.

Bautista said PAL — which currently operates at NAIA 1, 2, and 3 for some of its domestic flights – will consolidate all its operation to NAIA 2 and its annex building which would provide  adequate room for its growing fleet of jets and international and domestic passengers.

From its current fleet of 87-wide bodied and single aisle jets, PAL expects its aircraft count to reach 96 by 2021.

Bautista, however, said it needs full government support for the project, especially in securing crucial land leases from agencies like the Manila International Airport Authority  and Pagcor.

“We also need government to continuously invest in building, developing, enhancing and upgrading airport infrastructure, not just for NAIA but all throughout the country, as PAL and other airlines out up more flights ad open new routes in our race for a thriving economic future,” he said.

Bautista said PAL is open for partnership should there be a party interested to join the carrier on the venture.

Capt. Manuel Antonio Tamayo, Department of Transportation undersecretary for Aviation and Airports, said the agency is now following government procedure, including the possibility of the project being treated as an unsolicited proposal.

“It’s  not a simple plan of leasing… there is a plan to build a new terminal,” Tamayo said.

Bautista  said PAL had been doing its share to help decongest NAIA while stimulating air travel to the Philippines.

“We’re already building up a new network of local and regional flights from Clark, Cebu, Puerto Princesa, Davo, Caticland, and Kalibo,” he said, adding that PAL continues to invest in the latest technology to speed up passenger processing and aircraft turnaround times.

(R. A Castro, Malaya)