THE Transportation department said on Tuesday more boarding gates are needed at Terminal 2 (T2) of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to maximize its flight-handling potential.

Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista said the limited boarding gates at Terminal 2 serve as a constraint on the number of flights that can operate out of the terminal.

There is also a “need for adequate lighting and air-conditioning at the pre-departure area as well as reliable free internet connection,” the Department of Transportation (DoTr) quoted him as saying in a statement.

Mr. Bautista conducted an inspection of Terminal 2 on Aug. 1.

Mr. Bautista, a former executive of Philippine Airlines, said he will “prioritize the enhancements of various airports and elevate them to global standards.”

“We will build upon the dozens of aviation-related projects completed in the past administration and identify areas for technical upgrade to allow them to enhance their operational capabilities,” he said recently, in response to President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s order delivered during the State of the Nation Address to improve the country’s transport facilities.

“The President’s order to the DoTr is clear — it’s full speed ahead for our transport projects,” he added.

Philippine Airlines and AirAsia Philippines have said the administration’s plan to upgrade and build new international airports will open up new growth opportunities for the industry.

“The construction of new international airports will help boost tourism targets, generate economic growth, and create employment opportunities in the aviation, travel, and tourism industries,” PAL President and Chief Operating Officer Stanley K. Ng said in a statement.

Mr. Marcos said his administration aims to boost the tourism industry.

A new international airport is being built in Bulacan, while Cavite province is currently working to start the planned Sangley airport. — Arjay L. Balinbin