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Passenger surge, on-time performance and security at NAIA improved – MIAA

Bryan Co
MIAA general manager Bryan Co says upward trend in passenger volume and on-time performance at NAIA. (JERRY S. TAN)

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) announced that passenger volume at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for the first three quarters of 2023 has already surpassed the total number of domestic and international passengers that used NAIA terminals, the country’s main gateway in 2022.

MIAA manager Bryan Co said that NAIA registered a total of 33,757,646 domestic and international passengers from January to September of this year, marking a 9% increase over 2022’s total passenger volume of 30,943,105.

“This figure signifies a remarkable 59% surge in passenger volume during the same period in 2022 and is equivalent to 95% of the first three quarters’ performance in 2019, the last full year before the COVID-19 pandemic. Domestic and international flight movement remains robust, with 206,050 flights taking off and landing at NAIA from January to September 2023, up 31% from the same period in 2022 and 2% higher than the first three quarters of 2019,” he said.

Co added that for both passenger volume and flight movement, this year’s third quarter performance has emerged as the strongest three-month period compared to this year’s first and second quarter numbers.

“Since the pandemic, July 2023 saw the most passengers in a single month with 4,185,555, while August 2023 logged the most flights in a month at 23,969. With this consistent growth, MIAA remains on track to achieve our year-end projections of 45 million passengers and 275,000 flights by the end of 2023. These projected flight estimates are poised to surpass the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, reflecting the resilience and recovery of the aviation industry in the Philippines,” Co said.

He added that along with this consistent upward trend, NAIA’s flight on-time performance (OTP) has improved considerably.

MIAA held an average OTP of 80% in September 2023, matching the highest average OTP rate recorded this year in March. Conforming to accepted international standards, flights that depart and arrive at NAIA within 15 minutes of the scheduled time are regarded as on-time.

“This result represents a major improvement from the OTP’s low of 60% in early June. This decline was attributed to hurdles such as the temporary suspension of all flight and ground operations at NAIA during a Red Lightning Alert, as well as issues with aircraft maintenance and spare parts that disrupted major airline operations,” Co explained.

MIAA’s enhanced schedule reliability can be attributed to a strategic blend of software solutions and technology, combined with vigilant monitoring.

The airport successfully mitigated operational disruptions caused by Red Lightning Alerts by utilizing innovative technology and real-time monitoring systems, significantly enhancing OTP. Furthermore, close collaboration with airlines and aviation stakeholders to address industry challenges ensured the timely deployment of required resources needed to support flight schedules, he said.

“MIAA remains committed to ensuring the safety, efficiency, and satisfaction of our travelers and stakeholders, and we will continue to work collaboratively with airlines and industry partners to sustain this positive trajectory in the months ahead,” Co said.

Meanwhile, Co assures the travelling public that it has instituted measures to ensure safety of NAIA passengers, flights and facilities.

Foot and mobile patrols are in place and K9 units are doing the rounds of the Terminals as added measures to its already established day-to-day protocols.

The MIAA is in close coordination with the PNP AVSEU and pertinent government law enforcement units tasked to validate any threat to national security.

“We would like to ensure the travelling public that protocols are in place to ensure everyone’s safety and security,” he said.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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