A Brief History of the Agency

The country’s premiere airport was originally a US Air Force base until 1948, when it was turned over to the Philippine government’s National Airport Corporation. The fledgling civil aviation airport’s facilities were nothing more than the current domestic runway and a small building as its only passenger terminal.

With the abolition of National Airport Corporation in 1951, ownership and management of the airport fell to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) under the Department of Commerce & Industry. In 1956, the CAA was transferred to the Department of Public Works, Transportation & Communications.

The first thirteen years of the airport were marked by the building of infrastructure dedicated to international flights. The international runway and associated taxiway were built in 1953, and 1961 saw the completion of a control tower and a terminal building for the exclusive use of international passengers at the southwest intersection of the runways. This system came to be officially known as the Manila International Airport (MIA).

The MIA was headed by a General Manager who carried the rank of a Division Chief. However, the airport’s impact on the country's economy possessed such magnitude that it became a matter of policy and practice that the General Manager be appointed by the President of the Philippines.
The Seventies heralded a phenomenal upsurge in the country's manpower exports and the Philippine tourism industry witnessed the quadrupling of international flight frequencies to Manila.  In 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos promulgated Executive Order No. 381, authorizing the development of Manila International Airport (MIA) to meet the needs of the coming decades.

A feasibility study and airport master plan was drawn up in 1973 by Airways Engineering Corporation. The detailed engineering design of the new MIA Development Project (MIADP) was undertaken by Renardet-Sauti/Transplan/F.F. Cruz Consultants while the design of the International Passenger Terminal building was prepared by Architect L.V. Locsin & Associates. A US$29.6 Million loan was arranged with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance the project.

The final engineering design was adopted by the Philippine Government in 1974 and concurred by the ADB on September 18, 1975. Actual work on the project started in the second quarter of 1978.

On March 4, 1982, the MIA Division under the Bureau of Air Transportation was abolished by EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 778. In its place, the MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY (MIAA), was created and vested with the power to administer and operate the Manila International Airport.
Though MIAA was envisioned to be autonomous, Letter of Instructions (LOI) No. 1245, signed on May 31, 1982, clarified that for purpose of policy integration and program coordination, the MIAA Management shall be under the general supervision, but not the control of, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.

Notable evolutions in the MIAA’s charter were made on July 21, 1983, through Executive Order No. 903. This order provided that 65% of MIAA 's annual gross operating income be reverted to the general fund for the maintenance and operation of other international and domestic airports in the country. It also scaled down the equity contribution of the National Government to MIAA: from PHP 10 billion to PHP 2.5 billion and removed the provision exempting MIAA from the payment of corporate tax.

Another Charter revision followed in September of 1983, with the promulgation of Executive Order No. 909, increasing the membership of the MIAA Board to nine (9) Directors with the inclusion of two members to be appointed by the President of the Republic.

The last amendment to the MIAA Charter was made on July 26, 1987 through Executive Order No. 298 which provided for a more realistic income sharing arrangement between MIAA and the National Government. Instead of the 65% of MIAA’s gross operating income, only 20%, exclusive of income generated from the passenger terminal fees and utility charges, shall revert to the general fund of the National Treasury. EO 298 also reorganized the MIAA Board and raised the capitalization to its original magnitude of PHP 10 billion.

On August 17, 1987, Republic Act No. 6639 was enacted and the MIA was renamed the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The MIA Authority however, retained its corporate name since the law did not amend the original or revised charters of the MIAA.