NAIA may no longer be 'worst airport' by end-2012

By Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 20 2012 05:04 PM | Updated as of Feb 21 2012 04:49 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Transportation and Communication Secretary Mar Roxas on Monday said passengers will see significant improvements in the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 by end of this year.

Aside from the rehabilitation of the terminal, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) is aiming to decongest Terminal 1 soon.

Currently, the terminal serves around 7.5 million passengers each year, when its capacity is only at 5.5 million.

Fortunately, talks with Takenaka, the Japanese contractor of NAIA-3 is going well, and the government hopes to seal the deal soon.

In fact, Roxas will go to Japan by end of the month to possibly finalize the deal. Once this is settled, works on NAIA-3 may be started immediately.

Only 52% of NAIA-3 is being utilized at the moment. The government hopes to finish the remaining 48% before the year ends.

Once fully operational, 2 million passengers from NAIA-1 will be transferred to Terminal 3.

It can be remembered that the congestion and state of the facilities in NAIA-1 has earned it a top spot as the world's worst airport by a travel site.

Roxas said, they will recognize such feedback and use it as a challenge to improve facilities and service.

Currently, the NAIA-1 Upgrade Project, which includes structural retrofitting, mechanical, electrical, fire protection and plumbing improvements, and the construction of new and more check-in/immigration counters, improved toilet facilities, a walkalator and additional rapid exit taxiways, are all underway.