Airport officials are expecting passenger traffic to reach 140,000 daily at the country’s premier gateway beginning this weekend until the Day of Valor, April 10, in what is considered to be the longest Holy Week holiday since 2019.
“MIAA is bracing for a surge in passenger traffic this Holy Week as weanticipate 1.2 million passengers in the four terminals of Ninoy Aquino International Airport over a ten-day period beginning today,” Manila International Airport Authority general manager Cesar Chiong said.
He assured the public that MIAA has sufficient manpower and equipment for the influx, as well as the availability of critical airport utilities, such as electricity, water, air conditioning, and communications; amenities and “malasakit” kits for passengers in the event of flight disruptions; and assistance desks in all four terminals to address the riding public’s concerns.
“We’re prepared. We are doing all of these initiatives in order to give our riding public a seamless travel experience here at NAIA, especially since this is the first time that we’ll have quite a long Semana Santa after 2019,” Chiong said.
“One of the critical things we’re doing is talking to our government partners because it’s not just MIAA – there are more than 20 different government agencies working with us. Among the most important right now, which we see as a critical battleground in terms of managing the queues and the experience, is (the Bureau of) Immigration, as well as our final security points under the Office for Transportation Security (OTS),” said MIAA assistant general manager Bryan Co.
Co said the BI has committed to bolstering its manpower at the NAIA terminals during Holy Week, with 63 immigration officers temporarily coming in from the main office and other ports. MIAA also met with BI’s terminal supervisors to ensure that their immigration counters are fully staffed before the surge.
OTS will deploy an additional 50 personnel to serve as baggage feeders and passenger controllers. Starting April 1, around 100 OTS personnel will be re-deployed to passenger screening points as MIAA takes over non-passenger inspection areas around the airport complex.
Airlines, meanwhile, were reminded to strictly adhere to the Air Passenger Bill of Rights and extend “malasakit” to the riding public, deploy enough “sweepers” to locate passengers requiring prioritization in immigration queues, open their check-in counters earlier when possible, and close them on time.
Law enforcement agencies are on board to ensure safe, secure, and orderly operations, along with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the local government units of Pasay City and Parañaque City, which will help facilitate the smooth flow of traffic around the NAIA complex.
To service the increased demand for land transportation at NAIA, MIAA has urged its transport concessionaires to ensure maximum deployment of units, especially during peak hours of arrivals, and Point-to-Point (P2P) operators to deploy more buses plying the NAIA route.
In addition, NAIA allows metered white taxis, while MIAA and Grab’s “Airport to Anywhere” program deploys a dedicated fleet of Grab-accredited vehicles with fixed pricing and no surge charges.
To avoid possible delays, passengers are advised to check-in online, arrive at the airport on time—at least 3 hours before departure for international flights and 2 hours before departure for domestic flights—and go straight to the pre-departure area immediately after checking in.
In order to expedite processing at the Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) and BI counters, international inbound travelers to the Philippines are reminded to complete the eTravel registration online prior to arrival. Philippine passport holders are encouraged to use the immigration e-gates upon arrival.