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Naia 1 ‘worst terminal’ no more, says MIAA chief

/ 03:05 AM November 22, 2011

Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 in Pasay City. RODEL ROTONI/INQUIRER

Stop calling Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s (Naia) Terminal 1 the “worst airport in the world.”

The appeal was made on Monday by Jose Angel Honrado, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), to the people behind “Guide to Sleeping in Airports,” even as he assailed the interactive website for the negative tag.

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Naia 1’s ranking worsened from the website’s assessment in 2010 that it was the fifth-worst airport in the world and the worst in Asia.

In an interview, Honrado said “I don’t want to be fixated with the branding.”

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“Talking about the supposedly worst airport in the world, they say some people voted. But who voted? And how many voted? What’s their methodology?” Honrado told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

But, he asserted that “nevertheless, we took it as a challenge for us to do… we will do our best to improve our services to airline passengers.”

The MIAA boss urged the airport’s critics to “go to Terminal 1 and see for yourself the improvements there.”

“A lot of people have been complaining that our toilets stink, that there is no toilet paper. Why don’t they go there now? And when was the last time they were there?” Honrado said.

He said the MIAA “has been rehabilitating the airport since last year.”

“Even before the alleged survey results came out, we were already rehabilitating the facility,” he said.

According to Honrado, “retrofitting of the airport would start by the first quarter of 2012.”

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“This would involve work aimed at making Terminal 1 comply with the Building Code of 2010,” he said.

He said that “retrofitting the facility will not take overnight. It will take some time. We expect to finish it in 12 to 18 months.”

Last week, President Benigno Aquino III gave the go-ahead to the P1.1-billion rehabilitation plan for Terminal 1.

At a Malacañang news conference, Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II said the rehabilitation would see structural and aesthetic work done on the 30-year-old terminal.

Roxas said the services of the original architects of the airport—Leandro Locsin and Associates—would be commissioned since they had the original blueprints and designs.

The government also plans to hire the team behind one of the world’s best airports—Changi International in Singapore—to help with Naia 1’s rehabilitation.

According to Roxas, the bulk of the rehabilitation budget amounting to P500 million would go to aesthetics and the interior design of the terminal.

Retrofitting and structural upgrades will cost the government another P340 million.

It would also have to spend P300 million for rapid exit taxiways to “reduce the waiting time” of aircraft.

Add to that P20 million for improvements to the facility’s 72 toilets, as well as another P20 million for urinals and other amenities.

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TAGS: Naia Terminal 1 OR MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado
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