NAIA gets worst airport tag anew

(The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 has again been voted as the worst airport not only in Asia but in the world by a travel website this year.

The “Guide to Sleeping in Airports” based its Oct. 15 rating of best and worst airports in the world on reviews and votes from travelers who spend the night in airports.

According to the website, the travelers were asked to consider comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.

The travelers cited metallic seating, crowded terminals and limited seats at the airport, making it unpopular for long delays or layovers.

The travelers’ review also cited inconveniences such as bad signage in the terminals, difficult transfers, lack of 24-hour food and nothing to do in transit, dirty floors, bathrooms, unfriendly staff, airport scams, anti-airport sleeper policies and “immigration officers who prefer to play Angry Birds than process travelers.”

Worst and best airports

Also in the list of the world’s worst airports are Bergamo (Italy), Calcutta (India), Islamabad (Pakistan), Paris Beauvais (France), Chennai (India), Frankfurt Hahn (Germany), Mumbai (India), Rome Fiumicino (Italy) and Los Angeles (US).

NAIA Terminal 1 also topped the list of worst airports in Asia followed by Calcutta (India), Islamabad (Pakistan), Chennai (India), Mumbai (India), Jakarta (Indonesia), Kuala Lumpur LCCT (Malaysia), Hanoi (Vietnam), Denpassar (Indonesia) and Bangalore (India).

Meanwhile, Singapore’s Changi Airport was voted the best airport this year, followed by Seoul Incheon (Korea) and Hong Kong.

Other airports in the best airports list are Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bangkok (Thailand), Tokyo Narita (Japan), Taipei Taoyuan (Taiwan), New Delhi and Hyderabad (India).


Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Honrado refused to comment on the new survey, saying it is “a rehash of previous reports.”

“It’s copied word for word... If you look up their report and visit the Terminal 1 now, see for yourself the difference,” he said.

NAIA Terminal 1 manager Dante Basanta said toilets at the terminal can now be compared to some five star hotels following the renovation they undertook when the travel website named NAIA as the worst airport in the world in 2012.

He added that the respondents in the survey could not expect all the amenities of a hotel in the airport.

Basanta added that Terminal 1 has a day room, which travelers can rent for $18 for 24 hours.

The NAIA Terminal 1 is set for rehabilitation in December in preparation for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders’ summit in November 2015.

P1.5-B rehab project

The government has tapped a local unit of the world-renowned Arup & Partners to evaluate the design for the much-needed rehabilitation of the airport amounting to P1.5 billion.

Arup’s major projects include the Sydney Opera House, Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal3, Jetblue Terminal 5 and the Heathrow Personal Rapid Transit System.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya earlier said they decided to commission a performance-based design instead of a code-based design, which would have required a longer construction period and disrupt the operations at the NAIA 1.

Abaya said the review of the performance-based design is the final step before the start of the actual retrofitting works.

The Department of Transportation and Communications tapped Arup after the Department of Public Works and Highways admitted that it does not have the expertise to approve and certify performance-based design.

Last year, the Department of Budget and Management approved the budget for the retrofitting and rehabilitation of the airport. – Donnabelle Gatdula, Rudy Santos



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