Manila airport's Terminal 3 readies for full airline operations

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Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International airport will have Terminal 3 ready for full airline operations in the coming days.

From 31 July, five carriers with the highest volume of international flights will move their operations to Terminal 3 from Terminal 1 in stages. The first to move are Delta Air Lines and KLM, followed by Cathay Pacific, Emirates and Singapore Airlines, says the country’s Department of Transport and Communications (DOTC).

Plans to begin operating Terminal 3 had stalled over legal issues related to its bidding project, which delayed its opening till 2008, leaving the terminal 52% complete. Completion works undertaken by Japanese contractor Takenaka started in August 2013, covering flight information displays, computer terminals, gate coordination, landing bridges and fire protection systems.

As of 18 July, around 85% of the terminal works are complete, while certain systems not critical to full airline operations such as building maintenance systems will be completed later this year.

Takenaka was commissioned by the Philippine International Air Terminals Co (PIATCO) to build the terminal in 1998, but construction was halted in 2002 following allegations of contractual irregularities and a legal dispute. That dispute led to the contract being terminated in mid-2003, and the government took over the operation of the terminal.

With the move by the five carriers to Terminal 3, Terminal 1 will return to its design capacity of 4.5 million passengers, freeing up space and reducing the number of travelers affected by the terminal’s ongoing rehabilitation works, adds the DOTC.