Gov’t shelling out $10-12M for NAIA3 ‘technical works’

Note: Lovely photos of this white elephant after the jump
(via INQ) THE government will be shelling out $10 million to $12 million for “technical works” to complete the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 (NAIA3) and pave the way for its opening on March 2007, a senior Palace official said.

In a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said NAIA officials discussed the technical preparation being done, the funding requirements, and other preparations for leasing out spaces when the terminal opens.

He said the government is also prepared to pay the balance it owes the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. after its initial payment of P3.2 billion.

“The NAIA management has already made arrangements with the Development Bank of the Philippines as far as funding the balance that would have to be paid at the appropriate time,” Bunye added.

Bunye said the terminal’s opening would depend on its physical infrastructure, which is now 97 percent complete.

“What is important is we make sure that the safety and the convenience of the passengers will be safeguarded,” he added.

Opening the terminal would be a boost to the economy as it would establish the Philippines as a transport hub in the region, he added.

Terminal 3

The third, much larger terminal, NAIA-3, was approved for construction in 1997 and the structure was mostly completed several years ago and was originally schedule to open in 2002. The modern US$640 million, 189,000 square meter facility was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) to have a capacity of 13 million passengers per year. However, a legal dispute between the government of the Philippines and the project’s main contractor, PIATCO, over the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) contract, continues to delay final completion and opening of the terminal. On December 2004, the Philippine Government expropriated the terminal project from PIATCO without compensation through an order of the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC). The terminal has yet to become operational. Having apparently lost a considerable investment through manipulation by the government of the Philippines, PIATCO (and its German partner Fraport) have continuing litigations in international court to recover a fair settlement. The case remains under litigation, with Fraport filing an arbitration case with the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes and demanding compensation of 465 million dollars to recover their investment. Although a “test run” was scheduled for Terminal 3 was to take place on April 1 2006, a ceiling collapse occurred on March 27, 2006. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo ordered an investigation into the collapse and sabotage was not ruled out. Engineers at the site of the collapse did not allow journalists to take photographs. The test run for Terminal 3 has been postponed indefinitely pending the results of the investigation and the inspection of the airport terminal.

It is currently slated to open at the earliest in mid-2007, when it will take over all of the operations of Terminal 1 and the Manila Domestic Passenger Terminal. It has 28 airbridges, 20 contact and 8 non-contact, and can service 28 aircraft all at once.

The construction of the this terminal has been surrounded by much controversy over the actions of the Philippine government. It is, in fact, these actions and allegations that have led to the great delay of its opening.


The original proposal for the construction of a third terminal was proposed by Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corporation (AEDP). AEDP eventually lost the bid to PairCargo and its partner Fraport AG of Germany, who went on to begin construction of the terminal under the administration of Joseph Estrada. While the original agreement was one in which PairCargo and Fraport AG would operate the airport for several years after its construction, followed by a handing over of the terminal to the Philippine Government, the government offered to buy out Fraport AG for $400 million, to which Fraport agreed.

However, before the terminal could be fully completed, then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, calling the contract “onerous,” formed a committee to evaluate the agreement to buy out Fraport AG. It is this action that has sparked the most controversy, the vast majority of opinions being that the committee was a formality and served nothing more than to allow the government to avoid keeping its end of the bargain, to which there is more controversy over whether the government had the $400 million promised to begin with.

In a highly suspect decision, the Philippine supreme court found the contract with Fraport AG “null and void,” essentially obtaining the terminal for the meager cost of completing construction, which had been close to finished. Incidentally, armed forced were already in place to secure the site before a verdict had been reached, leading people to speculate that the decision had been made from the start.

In September of 2005 Manila International Airport Authority awarded a P26 million contract to Ayala Property Management Corp to manage and maintain Terminals 2 and 3 as well as act as an advisor for the placement of commercial services within the 2 terminals.


Terminal 3 is built on a 63.5-hectare lot that sits on Villamor Air Base. The terminal building has a total floor area of 182,500 m2, having a total length of 1.2 kilometers. A 4-level shopping mall connects the terminal and parking buildings. The parking building has a capacity of 2,000 cars while the outdoor parking area has a capacity of 1,200 cars. The terminal is capable of servicing 33,000 passengers daily at peak or 6,000 passengers per hour.

Its apron area has a size of 147,400 m2, 34 air bridges, 20 contact gates with the ability of servicing 28 planes at any given time. The terminal has 70 flight information terminals, 314 display monitors, with 300 kilometers of fiber optics I.T. cabling. It also has 29 restroom blocks. The departure area has five entrances all equipped with X-ray machines with the final security check having 18 X-ray machines while its baggage claim has 7 large baggage carousels, each with its own flight display monitor.

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