Experts from world's best airport to inspect NAIA-1

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 28 2011 03:54 PM | Updated as of Nov 29 2011 02:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Experts from Singapore's Changi Airport, consistently ranked as one of the world's best, will be giving the Philippines advice on how to improve the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA-1), which has been tagged as the world's worst.

A team of consultants from Changi Airport arrrived in Manila on Monday to conduct an inspection of the 30-year-old NAIA-1.

The 6-member team led by Jose V.A Pantangco, senior vice president of Changi Airports International, met with Transportation and Communication Secretary Manuel Roxas on Monday.

"We recognize Changi Airport's international reputation as the number one airport in the world... This gives us confidence that cooperating with Changi Airport will reap positive results, particularly in line with our goal of delivering an efficient, distinctively Filipino, and customer-friendly airport for all travelers who will use NAIA T1 in the near future," Roxas said, in a statement.

The Singaporean team is composed of experts in airport passenger and cargo flow systems, terminal design, electromechanical engineering, architecture and commercial revenue research.

After inspecting the facilities, the team will submit its findings and recommendations on how to improve NAIA-1 to the DOTC and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) by early January.

"This is just the initial step we are undertaking to identify key areas at Terminal 1 that urgently need rehabilitation from an international point of view," said Roxas.

'World's best airport'

The much-maligned NAIA-1 could use the advice of Changi Airport, which has consistently topped the ranking of the world's best airports. Changi was named the 2011 Best Airport for the 15th year in 2011 by the website SleepinginAirports.net, which also named NAIA-1 as the worst.

Changi Airport officials are eager to provide their expertise and advice to NAIA-1.

"We welcome this opportunity to help the Philippine government, specifically the MIAA, to maximize its current potential in terms of serving its current and future customers better," said Pantangco.

Patangco said the team's objectives are:

  • Help the MIAA build up its maintenance capacities;
  • Assist in upgrading the airport to globally accepted standards; and
  • Explore options to further expand the current traffic of 7 million passengers per annum who go through the airport.

Based on Changi Airport's experience, Patangco said the size of an airport is not a limitation to achieving efficient operations.

"But one thing is certain: if service levels are improved, and people get a lot more comfortable when they go through an airport, they tend to stay a bit longer, shop more, thus enhance the airport's revenue-generating capacity, and generally say nice things about the airport when they get home," he said.

Roxas, likewise, emphasized the goal is to provide passengers with "affordable, reliable and comfortable travel facilities."
 
Changi Airport handles over 70 million passengers every year.  The airport offers free Wifi, internet cafes, prayer rooms and a variety of dining and shopping choices. There are also napping areas, city tours, swimming pools, massage and spa facilities, gardens and pay lounges..

"The thing we love about Changi is their ability to make the airport fun! From its Entertainment Deck with the Movie Theatre and XBox/Playstation consoles to the new 4-storey slide at terminal 3, being at the airport does not have to be a boring, coma-inducing experience," SleepinginAirports said.