The Ninoy Aquino International Airport is on a roll. But not in a good way.
CNN’s travel site CNNGO.com has ranked the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as the fifth most hated airport in the world.
The travel site joins a growing chorus of voices calling NAIA Terminal 1 the worst airport in the world or bemoaning its crumbling facilities.
Said CNN in an article published Wednesday, “Beleaguered by ground crew strikes, unkempt conditions, soup kitchen-style lines that feed into more lines and an overall sense of futility, NAIA brings the term ‘Stuck in the 1970s’ to a new level.”
It noted how Terminal 1 was crammed with all non-Philippine Airlines carriers despite serious overcapacity issues, even as the new Terminal 3 remained underused and occupied by a handful of minor carriers.
Most hated but not the worst
CNN, however, pointed out that the airports that made their list of most hated are not the worst airports in the world.
“What follow are 10 majorly despised international hubs (or hopefuls) that, while they may have a few staunch fans, and some have even won awards, have all inspired enough fury, flak and ‘never again’ air-rage to merit a place on this list,” the travel site said.
Aside from a rash of bad press this year including a “Worst in the World” ribbon from the website, Sleeping in Airports, CNN explained that NAIA was capped by “a collapsed ceiling in T1, a paralyzing ground service strike at T2, and the usual charges of tampered luggage, filthy restrooms, seat shortages at gates, re-sealed water bottles sold in retail shops and an Amazing Race-style check-in routine spiked with bureaucracy, broken escalators, lengthy Dot Matrix passenger lists and creative airport departure fees.”
On the top spot as most hated airport is Paris-Charles de Gaulle in Paris, France, followed by Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California in the U.S. and London Heathrow in London, England.
‘NAIA upgrade has started’
Meanwhile, Malacañang announced on Thursday that refurbishment and upgrading works for the airports are now underway.
“Concerned government agencies are now fast-tracking the improvement of the country's airport terminals amid the negative observations made by the international community on the inferior condition of the 30-year old NAIA,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda was quoted in a press statement.
Lacierda added that Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas had already briefed the president about the ongoing refurbishment and upgrading.
"There are structural renovations being done. Apart from that, we also have the interior renovations being done as well. For instance, lighting, landscaping...," the spokesperson said.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) said that the country’s aviation has met international safety standards and is currently being reviewed by the European Union. Members of the EU delegation recently made a courtesy call on CAAP Director General William Hotchkiss III. Beda Badiola, CAAP’s Flight Standards and Inspectorate Service chief, said all air carriers in the country have followed regulations that the agency was able to oversee properly according to standards. “They …