THE Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) is exploring possible collaboration with the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department to increase aircraft movements at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

CAAP has been directed by the Department of Transportation (DoTr) to increase aircraft movements at NAIA to 48 per hour, it said in a statement on Monday. Aircraft movements are the total of takeoffs and landings.

The DoTr noted the need to accommodate the growing number of passengers and to help achieve the traffic projections agreed with airport investors.

Currently, aircraft movements at NAIA are at 40 to 42 per hour, CAAP said. 

In February, the DoTr awarded the P170.6-billion contract to operate, maintain, and upgrade the NAIA to the SMC SAP & Co. Consortium.

The project aims to increase the current annual passenger capacity of NAIA to at least 62 million from the current 35 million.

“CAAP has initiated measures to boost movements. Earlier, a group of air traffic controllers, along with a delegation from the Department of Transportation, visited the air traffic facilities at Hong Kong airport to learn from its best practices,” CAAP said. — Ashley Erika O. Jose