MIAA says it’s working with BI to reduce congestion at immigration counters
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said Friday it is working with the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to reduce congestion of departing passengers at the immigration counters of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), particularly in Terminal 3.
In a statement, the MIAA said it received various complaints concerning missed flights due to the long queues at the immigration counters on 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,” said MIAA General Manager Cesar Chiong.
“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.
He said that MIAA has already increased the number of immigration counters, specifically in Terminal 3, from 26 to 29.
The MIAA said that in addition to the existing electronic gates, or e-gates, installed by BI for arriving Philippine passport holders, it is also advocating for the installation of new e-gates for departing passengers in order to further reduce travelers’ processing times.
The Manila airport authority said it 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.
To improve passenger access, the MIAA eliminated the initial screening checks at terminal entrances in December.
The airport authority said it is preparing to roll out more improvements in immigration processing by mid-year, including a physical re-layout of Terminal 3 to make room for more immigration counters and the reassignment of terminals, which aims to turn Terminal 2 into an all-domestic terminal.
“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.
The MIAA chief also encouraged passengers to move on to the immigration booths, undergo a 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,” said Chiong. — VBL, GMA Integrated News