From a passenger capacity of 4.5 million in 1981, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) complex has now become one of the busiest airport in the World transporting 24.5 million passengers making it on the 51th spot, up five notches based on the latest figures released by Airport Council International (ACI).
Despite worldwide economic recession plaguing the airline industry, the growth of passenger traffic at Manila airport has been phenomenal growing 11.5 percent this year as compared to worldwide passenger growth of +0.1%, and +1.2% for Asia Pacific region.
Official figures from ACI disclosed that in 2006 the airport handled only 17.7 million passengers making it the 72nd busiest airport in the world. Passenger volume went up further to 20.4 million passengers in 2007, and 22.1 million in 2008 landing it on the 56th spot.
The airport complex, consisting of 4 terminals, boast a combined capacity of 35 million passengers per year. Aside from its 5 resident domestic airlines, it is serviced by 30 international airlines handling around 200,000 flights and more than 24 million passengers in the year 2009. Further, there are additional seven foreign carriers expected to operate at Manila's premiere airport this year. and continues to be the main international gateway of the country, as it has been for the past decades.
Despite the emergence of new airports with international flight capabilities in the last two years, the NAIA complex handled about 90% of all international traffic in the country. Including domestic passenger movement, NAIA accounted for about 75% total passenger traffic.
Contributing to capacity building was the commercial start-up of Terminal 3 in July 22, 2008, with a soft opening that initially involved domestic flights from Cebu Pacific, followed by other domestic flights from PAL Express and Air Philippines.
Currently, the NAIA Terminal 3 is handling about half or about 7.5 million passengers of its designed capacity of 13 million passengers yearly.
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) General Manager Alfonso Cusi also cited the successful certification of the main international terminal, NAIA T1 to the global 9001:2008 ISO Standards of Quality Management Service as well as the continuing strength, secure and safe conduct of its airport operations through the terminal management concept.
* Total worldwide passenger growth of +0.1%
Fastest growing region was the Middle East at 5.8% followed by Africa (+4.9%) and Latin America Caribbean (+2.1%)
Asia Pacific and Europe grew by 1.2%
North America only region with decrease in traffic (-3.1%)
* Total aircraft movements handled by airports was 77 million, a decrease of 2.1%
* Total cargo handled decreased by 3.7% to 86 million tonnes
* 51% of airports worldwide registered positive passenger growth in 2008, together these airports represent 49% of total passenger traffic
* 520 airports with more than 5 million passengers experienced a decrease in passengers compared to only 21 airports in 2007.