One of Transportation Secretary Jimmy Bautista’s top priorities is to pursue his pet project, the expansion of Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 (NAIA-2), which he did not see get off the ground when he was still president and CEO of Philippine Airlines (PAL).
Bautista, a protege of PAL’s ultra bilyonaryo owner Lucio Tan, was forced to retire from PAL in 2019 or two years after he pushed for the $450 million Terminal 2 expansion.
“When I was in Philippine Airlines, I proposed to extend Terminal 2. Kasi merong area dito sa tabi ng Philippine Village Hotel that we can use to extend Terminal 2. Unfortunately, I was not able to implement that program. We have a proposal, pero inabutan ng retirement ko,” said Bautista in an interview with TV5’s “The Chiefs.”
“But I think we can extend Terminal 2 so that international operations of PAL can be more comfortable for passengers. Kasi sa ngayon there are only four gates for Terminal 2 for international. So if we can have more international gates, there will be less congestion,” he added.
Since its opening in 1999, NAIA-2 or the “centennial terminal” has been the exclusive gateway of PAL’s domestic and international flights.
Bautista originally proposed in 2017 to build an annex building on a 16-hectare property covering the now defunct Philippine Village Hotel, the former Nayong Pilipino complex, and a property owned by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).
The Terminal 2 expansion, which was supposed to start construction in December 2020 and completed by 2021, would have increased capacity to 15 million passengers per year and accommodate 12 to 17 wide-bodied and single aisle jets.