NAIA 3 – Finally?

The not-so-new NAIA 3

After its mothballed existance NAIA 3 is finally opening its arrival/departure gates to the international runways on Aug. 1.

FINALLY. Finally?

I’m only going to believe it when I actually land in it. I can’t count how many times I’ve read speculations of its opening in local papers back when I was living in Manila.

My dad worked for one of the teams that bid for “solving” its problems a couple of years back. I’d always bug him, “when is the NAIA 3 terminal actually going to open?” every time I come home (especially from Singapore. Changi is the #1 airport I’d like to be stranded in), or pass it, since I used to live 5 minutes away (WITHOUT TRAFFIC) in Merville.

I know my dad had some photos of the airport when he was doing the presentation, but I can’t seem to find them – so here’s some random stock photos from the Net that I found.

I remember seeing a fashion spread in either Preview or Mega (local Pinoy high-fashion glossies) shot inside the terminal in 2006. Doesn’t these look much, much better then the rotting shame that is Terminal 1, or #8 on’s Airports You Hate?

Photo c/o The Unlawyer

Okay I don’t mean to be Debbie Downer here for a moment… but I wonder how long this will remain shiny, shimmery, splendid? Didn’t take 5 years for the PAL Terminal 2 to cultivate sticky seats and unsightly bathrooms.

Let’s hope the folks at the Manila International Airport Authority do our new airport justice and keep it spic-and-span and more importantly, efficient. If our neighbors in KL, HK and BKK can do it, so can the MNLs. According to the Lonely Planet Blue List book (2007 ed) the opening of NAIA 3 may just be the boost Philippine tourism needs. How can you convince people that the rest of the country is worth visiting when you don’t even want to step foot inside its airport?

For now, let’s pack our bags, cross our fingers and enjoy a Walkthrough of NAIA 3, courtesy of

~ by antoniele on July 25, 2008.

7 Responses to “NAIA 3 – Finally?”

  1. That’s crazy. I didn’t even know there WAS a NAIA 3.

    How long has this been built? And sitting dormant? How come?

    Man, its always so crazy at the airport in Manila.

    What they NEED to do is put some kind of conveyor belt/Jetson thing at the area where you’re supposed to ROLL your full baggage cart down the tunnel ramp to the parking area!

  2. Len, I’m usually not a fan of Wikipedia in terms of factual explanations but this one is pretty accurate and paints the picture:

  3. They finally opened the damned thing eh? It’s been sitting there pretty much finished for years now. What was it that kept it closed again? It wasn’t a construction thing from what I recall, but some legal something-or-other right?

  4. I hate Terminal 1.

    They need to open this. In my brief experience they made me do the good ol’ run around inside then outside then inside then outside then inside again the airport (with security check and line up every time) to get to the bottom floor and back looking for a compatible ATM to get more money to the shady immigration that treated me like a white person squeezing me for cash when they saw my passport was from Canada holding my boarding pass until I paid the extra “tourist” fines.

    The only thing that calmed me down was seeing a bunch of other passengers doing it too..

  5. you mean the super expensive airport taxes on your way out of the Phils? It was like a thousand pesos wasn’t it? It’s madness that.

  6. it reminds me so much of the San Francisco International Airport. It’s nice to see that we have a big and spacious airport now in Manila. Can’t wait to see it! Thanks for sharing.

  7. This has been long overdue, the opening of NAIA 3. Finally indeed! Asia has some of the best and busiest airports, the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (that opened in 2006, is very huge!), HK International Airport and yes, Changi Airport, definitely. I’ll be going home on the 8th of August and I can’t wait to take photos of the terminal. I think now it’s easier to encourage my friends and other tourists to visit the Philippines.

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