The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) inaugurated the newly repaired and upgraded Taxiway Charlie at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on Friday, Feb. 25, marking another milestone in the government's infrastructure programs.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal attended the inauguration rites along with executives from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Department of Tourism (DOT), Office of Transportation Security (OTS), Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Bureau of Immigration (BI), and Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group (PNP-AVSEGRPOUP) among others.
The airside facilities upgrade, including the civil and electrical works, cost P1.1 billion.
According to MIAA, the upgrading of airside facilities at the Manila airport will "ensure the efficient use of the runway and improve safety as aircraft landing can swiftly leave the runway towards the tarmac leading to the terminals."
As it will make aircraft movement from the runway to the tarmac faster, it can be capable of accommodating more arrivals and departures per day.
"This can increase the maximum number of aircraft movements in the country’s primary gateway," the MIAA said in a statement.
As the main gateway to the country, the NAIA has been catering to millions of passengers locally and internationally.
In previous years before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic affected flights, MIAA said that the aircraft traffic on-ground affected landing and take-off time as many aircraft line up to take-off and land at NAIA.
"With improved taxiways, aircraft can safely exit the runway and open it up for the next arrival and departure flights safely," the MIAA noted.
The DOTr worked hand in hand with the MIAA for the completion of the project. Upon confirmation of the manifestation of pavement instability and distress from several conducted site inspections and repair works from Taxiway Charlie 1 to Charlie 5 and Hotel 1, it was decided to repair and upgrade the taxiway for safer aircraft operations.
As of January 2022, the airport authority has completed the repair and upgrade of four taxiways as well as the newly inaugurated Taxiway Charlie 5.
With air traffic slowing down considerably in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the MIAA said they used the opportunity to shift into high gear with the airside facilities upgrade and was able to complete the work in a much shorter amount of time.
The project entailed design parameters based on the Aerodrome Design Manual of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The thickness for pavement structures of the taxiways was designed based on the requirements for characteristics of large new aircraft. It is expected to provide quicker exit for aircraft and pave the way for quicker release of flights taking-off, the MIAA explained.
“The repair and upgrade of the NAIA Taxiways were carried out simultaneously and was undertaken with NAIA remaining operational and causing no interruption or danger to airport operations,” said MIAA General Manager Ed Monreal.
The completion of Taxiway Charlie is one of the key projects under the "Build, Build, Build Program" or the Duterte administration's primary infrastructure plan.