Manila International Airport and Clark Fields guide

Manila's Ninoy Aquino Airport is near the city centre

Manila's Ninoy Aquino Airport is near the city centre

Manila is served by an international airport close to the city with domestic terminals transporting passengers to the far reaches of the Philippines. Clark Fields Airport is situated around two hours north of the capital and handles air traffic from budget carriers such as Air Asia.

Manila International Airport

Manila’s main airport is officially referred to as Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), but to tourists it is simply known as Manila International Airport. It serves as the main international travel gateway to the Philippine capital and is nestled along the border shared by Paranaque City and Pasay City in Metro Manila. The airport is seven kilometres away from old Manila.

The Manila International Airport is served by a number of international and local air carriers. More than 32 million travellers pass through the airport, which makes it the busiest in the Philippines. Prior to your arrival, you will be handed a disembarkation card, which you need to fill up before your plane lands so you can show it to immigration.

The airport has four passenger terminals, with most international flights arriving in the main Terminal One. Terminal Two is the Centennial Terminal, which is exclusively used by Philippine Airlines, the flag carrier that offers both domestic and international flights. Terminal Three is the NAIA International Terminal handling international flights by local air carriers such as PAL Express, Cebu Pacific, and Air Philippines. Finally, the domestic terminal serves all flights by other local air carriers. The terminals are spread far apart from one another and passengers normally have to rely on the free shuttle or public transport such as the jeepney or a taxi to transfer from one to another.

Passengers waiting for departure can find a lot of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops in Terminal One. Two duty-free outlets are in the departures north wing, but there is also another at the arrivals north wing. Other facilities in Manila International Airport include telephones, a post office and banks offering foreign currency exchange services. There is also an ATM centre at the arrivals area, and you can also find a playroom for children, a sauna, pharmacy, chapel and 24-hour medical clinics.

Cebu Pacific is a popular budget airline

Cebu Pacific is a popular budget airline

Ground transportation at Manila International Airport is mainly provided by taxis, which can take you to anywhere in Metro Manila. Just be sure to ride an official, pre-booked, or metered taxi and expect a long queue at the taxi rank. There are also buses and jeepneys operating off site, but tourists should only take these with previous knowledge of the city. Before arrival, check with your hotel if airport transfers are offered so a representative can meet you at arrivals  instead.

The Baclaran Station of the Manila Light Rail Transit is also within two kilometres of the airport via a taxi. It can be an alternative means of transportation if you are not carrying a lot of luggage.

NAIA Domestic Terminal

Manila International Airport’s domestic terminal is the oldest in the area and dates back to 1948. It mainly handles domestic flights by South East Asian Airlines and Zest Air. No passenger jetways exist in the airport, so you normally would have to walk from your plane to the terminal or ride a shuttle.

Inside the terminal, you can find 26 check-in counters. Being rather small, the arrivals hall can only handle around 1,000 passengers at a time. However, you can find a lot of restaurants and a magazine store in the area. There are also five baggage carousels, making it rather quick to claim your luggage.

Outside the terminal you can find plenty of restaurants, banks, a grocery store and airline offices within walking distance. Just like in the main international terminal, the domestic terminal is served by taxis that can take you to your hotel.

NAIA Terminal Two

The Centennial Terminal or Terminal Two of the Manila International Airport mainly handles flights by Philippine Airlines – both international and domestic. Domestic flights are handled in the south wing of Terminal Two. The airport was named the Centennial Terminal because it was completed in 1998, the 100th year of Philippine independence (although it officially began operationing the following year).

Situated on the Old MIA Road, it has a more modern architecture and a well-lit ambiance with a plethora of restaurants and cafes. As many as five million passengers use Terminal Two every year. Tourists can catch a taxi outside the arrivals hall to their final destination within Metro Manila.

Clark International Airport

The aviation gateway for Clark Special Economic Zone and Angeles City’s general area is known as the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport, but more commonly referred to as Clark Fields International Airport. It lies 85kms from the main airport of Manila but serves as an alternative, if you are taking budget flights from Tiger Airways, Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, Sea Air, Asiana, etc. The airport handles over 1.3 million passengers.

Clark International Airport currently has one terminal which boasts a central location in central Luzon but can easily be accessed via shuttle buses from Metro Manila. The airport is also a good base if you want to visit the Subic Bay Freeport. Two additional terminals are currently being constructed to handle more passengers and accommodate more international flights.

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