PGMA: NAIA T-3 opening proof of gov't "resolve and determiantion to move forward"
NAIA Terminal 3, Pasay City, Metro Manila (26 July) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday said the opening of the Terminal 3 (T-3) of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) here is proof of the government's "resolve and determination to move forward" towards economic progress.
In an impromptu speech after her walking inspection tour of the sprawling T-3 which has been dubbed by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) as "the Philippines' most modern airport terminal today," the President thanked everyone who helped open the NAIA's third terminal.
Introduced by Transportation Secretary Leandro Mendoza as "ang champion sa pagbubukas ng Terminal 3 (the champion of the opening of T-3)," the President stressed that "this airport is the gateway from our country to the rest of the world."
For this second inspection of the now operational T-3, the President planed in from Cebu City where she had inaugurated earlier in the day the Plaza Sugbu and the Dona Eva Macapagal Session Hall at the Legislative Building in the Cebu City Hall compound.
The President's plane -- which was brought to a halt in front of Gate 131 of the 28-gate terminal -- arrived at 12:07 p.m.
Going through a platoon of welcoming honor guards from the Philippine Air Force (PAF), the President was met by Mendoza, MIAA general manager Alfonso Cusi, NAIA T-3 task force head Mike Defensor, PAL chairman Lucio Tan, Cebu Pacific's Lance Gokongwei, among others.
Inside the terminal awaited a group of foreign ambassadors to the Philippines who toured the NAIA-3 facilities with the President who took the escalator to the second floor which houses the arrival area.
The President waved and shook hands with departing plane passengers who took the chance to also take photos of her.
The President's inspection of the T-3 today coincided with the launching of the domestic flights from T-3 of the 'PAL Express' of the Philippine Air Lines (PAL), and PAL's sister company, Air Philippines. PAL Express shall "operate services to Caticlan, Busuanga, Calbayog, San Jose, Surigao and Virac; while Air Philippines will operate services to Bacolod, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Naga, Puerto Princesa, Ozamis and Tuguegarao."
NAIA T-3 started its operation for domestic flights two days ago last Tuesday (July 22), with a Cebu Pacific plane taking off for Caticlan, Aklan. The said airline now operates 16 flights daily to five destinations, namely, Caticlan, San Jose, Tuguegarao, Naga, and Laoag, according to the MIAA.
T-3's domestic operation started exactly 22 days after the said terminal processed at dawn last June 30 the papers of the arriving passengers of a commercial Philippine Air Lines (PAL) flight which brought home President Arroyo and her delegation from the United States where she had conducted a successful 10-day working visit.
Meanwhile, MIAA's Cusi enthused that T-3 is now readying itself for international flights, telling media that the MIAA expects to process up to 28 international flights daily by August. (PIA) [top]