Results of the latest survey conducted by travel website show that Ninoy Aquino International Airport has got out of the dubious list of worst airports.
In a survey “The Guide To Sleeping In Airports” released Sunday by sleepinginairports.net, the Philippines’ premier air gateway is no longer part of both 20 worst airports in the world and five worst airports in Asia this year.
In 2016, the same survey placed NAIA at fifth spot among the world’s worst airports — plagued by the bullet planting scam, frequent power outages, lapses in air conditioning, uncomfortable and insufficient seating, and complicated terminal transfers.
The issues, however, were addressed during the first 100 days of the Duterte administration.
Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade in a statement welcomed this improvement, but said that this was just the beginning. He, however, warned that the DOTr must not be complacent as there are still other issued that need to be addressed and things to improve at 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,” Tugade said.
“We should be careful that we do not backslide. The show must go on — and better!” the Transportation chief said.
This was echoed by Manila International Airports Authority (MIAA) General Manager Ed Monreal.
“The bigger challenge is to maintain or even surpass our achievement,” Monreal said.
Over the years, NAIA earned a bad reputation.
From 2011 to 2013, NAIA earned the dubious title as the “world’s worst airport.”
While it improved in 2014, the airport was still the fourth worst globally. In 2015, it was not included in the top 10 worst airports in the world but named as the 8th worst airport in Asia.
Meanwhile, four Philippine airports were counted among the top 25 best airports in Asia for 2017.
These are the Iloilo International Airport (12th), Mactan-Cebu International Airport (13th), Davao International Airport(17th), and Clark International Airport (22nd).
The Department of Transportation cited reforms implemented at the airports:
- 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
- would be put back in 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;
- and the provision of cleaner toilets additional seats, free Wi-Fi, and Well-Wishers’ Area.
Regular taxis were also allowed to join the queue and pick-up passengers at designated points at NAIA terminals to address the shortage of designated taxi units servicing passengers.
“Further, since the new administration took over, there has been no single incidence of a passenger missing a flight for possessing a bullet,” the DOTr said, adding that passengers “no longer feel the need to wrap bags and luggages in plastic or masking tapes.”