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GETTING BETTER | NAIA no longer one of the world’s worst airports

NAIA Terminal 3

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the Manila International Airport Authority’s (MIAA) efforts to erase the infrastructure backlog at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have started to pay off, as the country’s premiere gateway is no longer listed among the world’s worst airports, according to online travel site Guide to Sleeping in Airports.

“While we are pleased to hear that international travelers no longer rate NAIA among the world’s worst, there is obviously still a lot for us to do. Having fully opened Terminal 3, and substantially refurbishing Terminal 1 after decades of neglect, our next focus is decongesting the runway,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.

It took around 2 years (from 2011 to 2013) to unravel the legal complications which prevented Terminal 3 from fully operating, but its resolution paved the way for the transfer of 3.5 million annual passengers, from the run-down Terminal 1, to the more modern Terminal 3, in 2014.

NAIA Terminal 1 (Photo: DOTC)
NAIA Terminal 1 carousel (Photo: DOTC)

With Terminal 1 now restored to accept 4.5 million passengers yearly (as initially designed), major rehabilitation was undertaken in 2014, most notably the structural retrofitting, which ensured the continued safety and integrity of the facility, and the improvement of the mechanical, electrical, and fire protection systems.

Architectural improvements were also implemented, giving the airport a sleeker look that facilitates better services. The improvements include:

  • More spacious and better-lit check-in and arrival lobbies
  • New check-in counters, flight schedule display, and furniture
  • Modern interior design for ceilings, floors, and other furnishings
  • Better layout for passenger flow
  • Reconfigured waiting areas and duty-free sections
  • New and additional retail concessionaires to serve passengers
  • Less queuing time with the integration of terminal fees into ticket costs
  • Installation of new chillers to ensure consistent cooling systems
  • Refurbished comfort rooms
  • Faster processing time at immigration counters

(Department of Transportation and Communications press release)

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