NAIA’s Problematic State
One would expect the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) which is the only major international airport in Metro Manila to be among the top performing airports in the country. However, one would be wrong.
NAIA has a very inefficient system, from the air-conditioning up to the flight plans, especially in Terminal 2 which is leased exclusively to Philippine Airlines (PAL).
There is an ever present excruciating heat wave washing over passengers inside the glass-enclosed terminal. Even complaint after complaint from travelers have been to no avail.
Meanwhile, NAIA 3 has been bogged with controversy due to foreign planes refusing to move to the more spacious and modern Terminal 3 due to fear of being tangled in a legal dispute between Manila and German airport operator Fraport AG.
However, airports have announced that the transfer to NAIA 3 would be complete by August.
Nonetheless, NAIA 1 has been ranked number one as the worst airport in Asia by travel website Sleeping In Airports. The travel site describes “collapsing ceilings, overcrowding, unbridled bribery and taxi drivers scamming travelers on fares.”
In 2011, NAIA 1 was named as the world’s worst airport.
The site Sleeping In Airports acknowledged that the Philippine government has been working to progress NAIA 1’s facilities. It seems though that there have yet to be any developments at all.
Passengers continue to harp about long, numerous queues that begin even as far as outside the terminal, which stretch on until the passenger proceeds to the gate.
There have also been reports of taxi drivers who manipulate their meters to jack up their fare prices. Airport authorities, though, say that they were able to crack down on the practice of taxi drivers.
Travelers continue to report on corruption at NAIA 1, detailing officers asking for cash payments to speed up normal procedures.
Rainy Season Preparations
NAIA authorities have recently implemented contingency measures to make certain passenger safety and welfare following the onset of the rainy season.
Manila International Airport Authority general manager Jose Angel Honrado had a conference with the Weather Disturbance Management Committee on Friday to discuss overall direction and control procedures during bad weather.
Present in the conference were MIAA senior officials and managers of NAIA’s four terminals.
Honrado specifically directed the terminal managers to coordinate well with their respective emergency response teams.
“They are mandated under MIAA guidelines on severe and extreme weather disturbances to carry out emergency procedures in their areas of responsibility in accordance with the airport emergency plan. Under the guidelines, the terminal Manager is the ERT (emergency response team) chief,” Honrado said.
Honrado also mandated on the terminal managers to make sure that target completion dates were met for projects that could turn into potential problems during the rainy season if left unfinished.
“Like in NAIA Terminal 2, we have completed waterproofing works in the domestic portion. We have now moved to the international wing,” he said.
MIAA authorities said the renovation, repair, and completion works in the other terminals were proceeding as planned.