Grand lady of Philippine aviation to be poked and prodded in name of safety
MANILA, Philippines – Plans are afoot to assess the soundness of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 1 within the year after an outside firm was tapped to conduct the probe.
A local engineering firm, P-Square, was selected to undertake the structural integrity investigation.
Antonio Bautista, the senior assistant general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority, said the study will study the 29-year-old terminal’s structural stability and safety.
“The study will involve Terminal 1 and the international cargo terminal as well,” the official explained in an interview.
Expected to take at least six months, the structural investigation’s results will be the basis of any repairs or retrofitting to be done at the old terminal.
“It will depend on the findings of the structural engineers as to what retrofitting works will be done,” said Terminal 1 manager Dante Basanta.
Basanta explained that the MIAA does not have its own structural engineers to conduct the probe, thus the need for an outside firm to undertake the study.
In layman’s terms, the probe will try to answer the question of NAIA 1’s safety after nearly 30 years of being in use.
Basanta said the experts will inspect the entire terminal for any cracks, deflections or uneven levels of floors, its beams and columns for its structural soundness.
Asked where some of these signs of age on the terminal could be found, the official said the cracks on walls could be found in some offices and hallways.
“Some of the parapet walls and plastering are giving way, we’re addressing that as well,” Basanta said.
The plan to conduct a structural probe has been in the works since late 2010, even before recent accidents at the NAIA 1 which even merited an inspection from President Aquino himself.
“This is not a reactionary move on our part. It was being planned even last year, but of course there’s a process to follow,” Basanta said.
The selection of P-Square was done through a regular bidding process. The structural probe is expected to cost at least P9.4 million.
The results of the structural investigation are expected to come out by early next year.
As for other renovations, Bautista said teams are working to refurbish the old terminal’s comfort rooms without closing down several comfort rooms at a time.
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