Saturday, August 23, 2008

NAIA Terminal 3

"The third terminal of the airport, Terminal 3 or NAIA-3, is the newestand biggest terminal in the NAIA complex, wherein construction started in 1997. It was one of the most controversial projects the Philippine government has gotten involved with. Legal battles and red tape, especially international arbitration cases in both the United States and Singapore as a result of mismanagement of the project by the Estrada government, as well as technical and safety concerns, have delayed the opening several times. [10] The terminal officially opened to selected domestic flights from 22 July 2008 (initially Cebu Pacific only, then Philippine Airlines' subsidiaries Air Philippines and PAL Express), with Cebu Pacific international flights using it from 1 August 2008 and other international airlines (excluding PAL) to relocate there within the year. PAL will continue to operate from Terminal 2." - wiki

picture taken from here

I booked my flight a few months back thinking that I'd be boarding from the old and dilapidated domestic airport. But before my scheduled flight to Dumaguete, NAIA Terminal 3 was just opened for business. This was actually my first time to visit the new airport. So here are my first impressions:   
The check-in counter area is huge and cavernous! It's such a big difference from the crowded and cramped old domestic airport.
Though I've always been hearing about the new mall within the airport, it was still empty when I was there. It does have a lot of potential though in my opinion. But let’s wait until all the stores are occupied before passing judgement.


GoNuts Donuts


National Bookstore

Grocery Store
There are a few food stalls if you get hungry. If you get bored, there’s a newsstand provided by National Bookstore that sells the latest magazines and some books. Being an airport, everything is a lot more expensive!
The Departure Area is vast - so vast that it has its own horizontal escalators. The ramps that connect the departure area to the airplanes are NOT operational. You do get on the ramp. But when you get to the end of it, you take the stairs down the ramp, then take a short walk in the open air. Finally, you take the stairs up to board the plane. It's the same procedure when you arrive. I hope this isn't a permanent!
The Arrival Area is also vast. Again, so vast that it has its own horizontal escalators. There are also a number of luggage carousels in operation. The walk to the large carousel was so long that my luggage was already there when I arrived.

All in all, I'm impressed with our new NAIA Terminal 3 airport. We finally have a domestic airport we can be proud of! This is very important because an airport is the first thing foreign tourists and potentional investors see when they arrive in the Philippines.

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