Terminal 3 of Manila?s Ninoy Aquino International Airport has finally opened.
According to Alfonso Cusi, General Manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the opening of Terminal 3 is a milestone in Philippine history. ? We are now putting to use this terminal which has been idle for more than five years. Perseverance and determination did it. We just had to find ways and explore strategies to be able to open it for the benefit of airline passengers, in particular, and national interest in general,? the airport chief explained.
Tirso Serrano, MIAA Assistant General Manager for Airport Development and Corporate Affairs, said the new terminal, which is twice as large as NAIA 2 and thrice as large as NAIA 1, is expected raise the country?s overall airport capacity to 25 million passengers a year. ?NAIA Terminal 3 could accommodate as many as 13 million passengers a year (or 35,000 passengers a day) and 28 flights at any given time,? he said.
Serrano further added, ?With the perseverance and determination of our government institutions involved in this milestone undertaking, under the inspiration and guidance of the national leadership, we are confident that we will be able to deliver a safe and operable airport facility in line with our tourism and trade thrusts for the benefits of the entire nation.?
Built to handle the needs of international and domestic travellers, the new terminal has 140 check-in counters on five islands, nine baggage carousels and 120 immigration counters.
Budget carrier Cebu Pacific was the first to use the new facility for its inaugural flight to Caticlan last July 22, 2008, using a turboprop jet with 48 passengers on board taking off at 5:15 a.m. On August 1, 2008, Terminal 3 started servicing all international and domestic flights of the airline.
Philippine Airlines has also moved its low-fare unit, PAL Express and its affiliate Air Philippines into Terminal 3. The PAL Express service from Manila includes flights to and from Busuanga, Calbayog City, Catarman, Caticlan, San Jose City, Surigao and Virac. Air Philippines operations include services to the cities of Bacolod, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Naga, Ozamiz, Puerto Princesa, and Tuguegarao.
In all, Philippine Airlines operates a total of 75 flights per week for PAL Express and 56 flights for Air Philippines from Terminal 3.