NATS UK Bags NAIA Optimization Project

1 September 2015

After two failed bidding's due to unreasonably low contract offer, NATS UK finally was offered consultancy contract by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) after series of negotiations and watered down work provisions, to help ease air traffic congestion at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

DOTC said three (3) international firms vied for the contract which included Mitre Corporation of the United States, NATS Ltd of the United Kingdom, and Copenhagen Airport A/S of Denmark.

The 91.4 million pesos NAIA Runway Optimization project was broken into two parts after bidders tendered in excess of 100 million.

The new NAIA Runway Optimization project phase one (short term) costing only P66 million was awarded to NATS Services Limited and Schema Konsult Inc., with the aims of increasing hourly air traffic movements (ATM) from 40 to 60 by determining the optimal configuration for the airport’s intersecting runways.

Under the 12-month contract, the group will be tasked to increase hourly air traffic movements (ATMs) to 60 from 40 by determining the optimal configuration for the airport’s intersecting runways.

According to UK-based NATS Ltd. representatives, it is possible to increase the capacity of the existing NAIA runway to between 50 and 60 movements per hour from the current 40 movements per hour, similar to what they did at Singapore, Hongkong, and London's Heathrow airport.

In the first six months of the 12-month contract, NATS will evaluate the airport’s current airspace, runway, and terminal capacities; air traffic and surface operations; runway access points; and ATC training and recommends ground movements and approach and departure patterns at the airport.

Over the next six months, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will then implement the recommended improvement measures over the ensuing six months.

The road map for short- and long-term improvements (phase 2) will focus on the optimization of runway capacity by cutting aircrafts’ occupancy times; developing air traffic controllers’ (ATC) surveillance capabilities through technology and determining needed alterations to access points; and maximization of available airspace by reducing restrictions and making procedural improvements to tighten intervals between aircraft movements.

“We are excited to work with one of the world’s best firms in the industry towards optimizing NAIA’s runway capacity. With NATS, which has worked on the Dubai, Singapore, and Heathrow Airports, we can expect safer, more efficient operations, and much less flight delays and cancellations,” Transportation Sec. Jun Abaya said in a statement Monday.

NATS UK provides air traffic navigation services to London Gatwick and London Heathrow airports.


  1. Do the 3 or 4 cutover to get the plane off the runway quicker. This was recommended three years ago. Still haven't done. It would save a few minutes per flight.

  2. Why does the new Manila International Airport to be build in Sangley Point Cavite is no longer included in Manila airport articles nowadays?