NAIA no longer on worst airports list

Rudy Santos - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is no longer included in the top 20 worst airports in the world and the terminal was also taken out from the list of five worst airports in Asia, according to a travel website.

“The Guide to Sleeping In Airports,” a travel website, on Sunday reported that based on a recent survey, NAIA is no longer in the list of worst airports in the world and in Asia.

The annual survey, released on Oct. 15, is based on the overall airport experience of travelers based on the following factors: comfort (gate seating and availability of rest zones); services, facilities and things to do; food options; immigration or security; customer service; cleanliness; navigation and ease of transit; and sleepability.

The results of a similar survey showed that the country’s premier airport used to be among the world’s worst and was ranked 5th worst terminal in Asia.

Such post was attributed to the issue of laglag-bala or bullet-planting in luggage that was among the main complaints of travelers, especially overseas Filipino workers, but was addressed during the first 100 days of the Duterte administration.

“Finally hard work bore fruit,” Manila International Airport Authority general manager Ed Monreal said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade welcomed this improvement, but said that this is just the beginning.

Tugade said the Department of Transportation should not be complacent as there are many things yet to be done and improved at the NAIA.

“Work, work, work lang. While it is good that we are not listed among the worst, let us work even harder to be included amongst the best. We should be careful that we do not backslide. The show must go on – and better!” Tugade said.

NAIA earned the ‘world’s worst airport’ title from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, it landed in 4th place. It was not included in the top 10 worst airports in the world in 2015, but landed 8th worst in Asia. 

Meanwhile, four Philippine airports again joined the list of top 25 best airports in Asia for this year: Iloilo International Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Clark International Airport and Davao International Airport. ?Among the reforms implemented at the NAIA were the restriction on general aviation to prioritize commercial flights and reduce flight delays; the imposition of the five-minute rule (where pilots who declare they are ready to take off must depart within the prescribed time or they would be put at the back of the queue) to reduce flight delays and instill discipline among airlines; the construction of Rapid Exit Taxiways to allow an aircraft to leave the runway at higher speed and increase flight movements; provision of cleaner toilets, additional seats, free Wi-Fi and well-wishers’ area.

Regular taxis were also allowed to queue and pick up passengers at designated points in NAIA terminals to address shortage of taxi units servicing passengers. 

Further, since the new administration took over there has been no incidence of a passenger missing a flight for possessing a bullet. Passengers no longer feel the need to wrap bags and luggage in plastic or masking tape. – With Louella Desiderio

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