Renovations of NAIA Terminal 1 Expected to Complete By November 2014

The long anticipated renovation and rehabilitation project of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 is finally expected to begin by December 1.

NAIA Terminal 1
Image Source: AIT Consulting
According to Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya, the Department of Transportation and Communications intends to bid out the project by November 15 enabling work to begin by December 1. The government is aiming to have the project completed by November 2014 in time for the Philippines to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in 2015. The government also plans to bid out the construction of a special building at NAIA 1 for "well wishers."

"We are ready to award the construction services and consultancy services in mid-November. We will start hammering the first nail by December," said Abaya. "The deadline given to us by the APEC organizing committee is that NAIA 1 should be operational and rehabilitated by November 2014."

naia terminal 1 departures
Image Credit: John Solis/Wikimedia
The renovations of NAIA 1 will cover all of the electrical and mechanical components of the airport, the structural aspects, and the architectural design to ensure that the structure is earthquake proof. MalacaƱang has already approved the rehabilitation and the structural retrofitting of the airport at an estimated cost of P1.16 billion. Abaya added that the department is still awaiting the release of funds from the Department of Budget and Management.

Of the budgeted amount, P340 million has been allocated for improvements to the structural integrity of the terminal building while P500 million will cover improvements to the internal facilities including the engineering, architectural, and interior design. P20 million will be used for the complete rehabilitation of the terminal's seventy-two toilets. The government is also hoping to address runway congestion by allocating P300 million for the construction of a rapid exit taxiway. 

"We have procured a third party consultant to address performance on structural performance," said Abaya. "This is to ensure that the facility will be "earthquake-proof and wouldn't collapse or endanger lives." He added that the changes in the architecture and interior design will also include the expansion of the arrival area. "We are giving back space for the passengers that offices currently occupy. Allocating more space for the passengers is needed as NAIA 1 has been accommodating a volume of passengers that is higher than its original 4.5 million passenger capacity a year," said Abaya.

With the renovations about to begin during the busy holiday travel season, passengers should prepare themselves for further congestion and delays. The capacity of the terminal was increased to just over 6 million annually with improvements made during the 1990's but it has been forced to handle close to 8 million passengers leading to severe congestion. It is expected that the excess passenger traffic at NAIA Terminal 1 will gradually be reduced to just 4.5 million passengers as flights are transferred over to NAIA Terminal 3. "The plan is to reduce passenger load of NAIA 1 to the original design capacity," said Abaya. "We are now at 8 million. We plan to bring that down to 4.5 million." 

NAIA Terminal 3 was originally designed to handle the country's international flights but just prior to the launch of the facility, the Arroyo government abrogated the contract with the Filipino-German consortium that it had been awarded to. Years of legal battles and court arbitration have delayed progress on the full completion of the terminal. But the Aquino government is now in the progress of finalizing a deal with Japan based firm, Takenaka, to complete the renovation and rehabilitation of Terminal 3. Abaya has indicated that once the contract is signed with Takenaka, construction is estimated to take between 8 to 10 months to complete. 

Meanwhile, the implementation of the Terminal 1 project has long been delayed as a result of procurement issues and a conclusion on the results of a third-party study as to how best to proceed with the project. The rehabilitation of Terminal 1 has been on the project list of the Philippine government for years but changes in the leadership of the DOTC along with delays in choosing designers, engineers, and architects have all contributed to the lengthy delays. 

Last June, MalacaƱang revealed that it would adopt a design submitted by Kenneth Cobonpue and Leandro V. Locsin and Associates for the rehabilitation of Terminal 1. The original Terminal 1 was designed by national artist Leandro Locsin and constructed in the 1970's. It has been serving as the gateway for foreign commercial carriers and is one of four terminals within the Ninoy Aquino International Airport complex. 

NAIA Terminal 1 was once again voted as the world's worst airport by users of the on line website, "The Guide to Sleeping in Airports." It has been criticized by travellers for its dilapidated facilities, long waiting times, and even rude airport employees.


  1. I agree with all of this most of all the rude airport imployees evrytime u fly to other country they didnt even treat u good i travel in other country when i go here in airport they are so rude but in other country they are always nice to u.

  2. Bid on Nov. 15 and award contract on Dec. 1, I doubt it. And even if started on time, It is doubtful that it will be completed. Of course, the simple solution is to move everything to T3. But so simple an idea is too complex for the simpletons in government. And moving terminals won't create kick backs like a heavy duty remodeling job on T1.
    As they say, half measures avail us nothing. And we have the unique ability of only committing to doing half a job.

  3. they said that naia 3 improvements has started, talaga bang nagsimula na to since n ngsign n cla ng agreement with takaneka? they keep saying pero wla pa rin e. tlagang for sure n b to, may nagaganap bang renovation or constrution as of now or we are still waiting..

  4. Hopefully as planned the renovation starts... cuz if you consider all else, no public infrastructure by any administration has pushed through successfully after Marcos... and to think we have judged Marcos and documented his corruption in all history books...

  5. Why not bid out the proposed new multi-parking/duty-free outlet to a Day/Night hotel operator to absorb some of the costs by allowing in exchange an interested party to build and operate a facility over the complex. It will also offer budget travelers the amenity of being able to rest and freshen up some while on extended layovers.

  6. yes finally new renovation of the naia airport is the new key of success of the pilipinos people and whos someone return their vacation you will make happy every ones



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