Critics told: Airport not for sleeping

Manila, Philippines - “Don’t expect hotel comfort from a house” was what the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) told critics of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), especially Terminal 1, which was again adjudged as world’s worst airport by international travellers. Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya yesterday said that Manila is not considered a regional hub and as such, NAIA should not be compared with airports that fared well in the survey of top airports in the world, which are mostly hubs of neighboring Asian countries. “That survey concentrates on sleeping in airports. Definitely, (Manila is) not a regional hub and NAIA is not designed to be slept at. You cannot demand hotel facilities from a house,” Abaya told reporters in a briefing yesterday. The official added Manila’s not being a regional hub is not an excuse for government to disregard the survey. He said a rehabilitation program for NAIA Terminal 1 is in the offing due to Manila’s hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting by 2015. Abaya said DOTC is only awaiting fund release from the Department of Budget and Management to finally award the construction management and consultancy service for NAIA 1 rehabilitation project. A civil works contract will also be awarded next month for the actual construction works. “Hopefully they could start hammering the first nail by December 1 since the APEC organizing committee said the NAIA Terminal 1 should be rehabilitated and fully operational by November 2014,” he said. But before DOTC even award the rehabilitation works contracts, travel website “Sleeping In Airports” released the results of its Best and Worst Airports for 2013. NAIA took the top distinction for the worst airports like it did in 2011. In the survey of worst airports, Manila was followed by Bergamo, Italy; Calcutta, India; Islamabad, Pakistan; Paris, France; Chennai, India; Frankfurt, Germany; Mumbai, India; Rome Fiumicino; and Los Angeles, California. The respondents rated the airports in terms of comfort, convenience, cleanliness and customer service. “We are doing something about it. We do recognize that there are a lot of things to do about NAIA and a lot of room for improvement and government is acting on it,” Abaya said. The survey showed the best-rated airports were Singapore Changi, Seoul Incheon, Amsterdam Schiphol, Hong Kong and Helsinki Vantaa. Malacañang earlier issued a P1.2-billion allotment for the structural and aesthetical improvements on NAIA Terminal 1, which was adjudged as the world’s worst airport by international travelers. From the P1.1 billion allotment, P500 million is provisionally set aside for aesthetics and interior design of the airport facility, P300 million will be spent for the construction of rapid exit taxiway to relieve runway congestion and minimize delays of incoming or outgoing flights, and another P20 million will be used for the repair and rehabilitation of 72 toilet facilities in the terminal, which includes fixing the lavatories, water closets, urinals and amenities.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting