PASAY CITY, 3 March 2023 – The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is working with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to ease congestion of departing passengers at the immigration counters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), particularly at Terminal 3.
MIAA, which administers NAIA, received various complaints concerning missed flights due to the long queues at the said counters in their social media channels.
“We are getting the commitment from the Bureau of Immigration to increase their manpower even before the surge of passengers comes during the peak hours of the day in order to arrest the build-up of passengers,” MIAA General Manager Cesar Chiong said.
“The processing time is critical here. If we can increase the processing rate of our immigration channels for each passenger, they should not have to wait too long even if the queue grows,” he added, noting that MIAA has already increased the number of immigration counters, specifically in Terminal 3, from 26 to 29 counters.
In addition to the existing electronic gates, or e-gates, installed by BI for arriving Philippine passport holders, MIAA is also advocating for the installation of new e-gates for departing passengers in order to reduce travelers’ processing time even further.
MIAA has also requested that airlines open their check-in counters earlier, as arriving passengers who are unable to check-in right away add to the queue. Last December, MIAA removed the initial screening checks at terminal entrances to facilitate passenger entry.
By mid-year, MIAA is preparing to roll out more improvements in immigration processing, including a physical re-laying out of Terminal 3 to make room for more immigration counters, and the reassignment of terminals, which aims to turn Terminal 2 into all-domestic.
“MIAA is looking for ways to alleviate the issue as much as we can. In the meantime, we ask for the public's understanding as the measures are put into place,” said Chiong, while also encouraging passengers to move on to the immigration booths, undergo final security check, and proceed to the pre-departure area immediately after checking in.
“We are working hard to do everything we can to make NAIA world-class. We welcome the feedback of passengers on incidents like this so that we can be proactive in resolving issues and ensuring a pleasant travel experience for everyone,” he added.