Partial closure of NAIA 1 when rehab begins
MANILA, Philippines – Portions of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA 1) will be closed when the terminal undergoes major rehabilitation starting December, according to Transportation secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.
"There will be parts of the airport to be shut down to start the work, but at least, the airport is not totally shut down," Abaya said.
Abaya explained that closing some parts of the terminal is necessary to ensure that the rehabilitation project will be completed by November 2014, in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meetings. The Philippines will host the APEC Summit in 2015.
“Clearly the main objective is to get NAIA 1 rehabilitated for APEC so if convenience of everybody will always be our parameter, we cannot move forward. So we have to swallow the bitter pill to get things moving forward, and improve,” he added.
The government had long planned to renovate NAIA 1, which was tagged again as the world's worst airport by visitors of travel website The Guide to Sleeping in Airports. (READ: What's the real score in NAIA 1 project).
World-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue and his team, and architecture firm Leandro V. Locsin and Associates were tapped by government to give the old and congested terminal a facelift. (READ: Rivals to partners: Cobonpue, Locsin to make over NAIA-1)
NAIA 1 has been accommodating 8 million passengers a year, way higher than its intended capacity of 4.5 million.
Transfer to NAIA 3
The rehabilitation of NAIA 1 complements the upgrade of NAIA 3, Abaya stressed.
The transportation secretary explained some operations in Terminal 1 will be transferred to Terminal 3 in phases.
"Hopefully, this will work complementarily because once we get parts of [Terminal 3] operational, we'll transfer some operations so NAIA 1's load will be lightened," he said.
Upgrade of NAIA 3 starts this month. Japanese contractor Takenaka Corporation was given until July 2014 to complete civil works for the 182,500-square meter terminal.
Only half of Terminal 3 has been considered structurally safe since it partially opened in 2008.
Takenaka's work contract covers "23 systems," which include flight information display, baggage handling and reconciliation, fire alarm and protection, and passenger boarding bridges, among others. (READ: Aquino on NAIA 3 delays: Pls bear with me) – Rappler.com