The head of the country’s premier airport took exception to the latest online survey that ranked the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) as the fifth worst in Asia.
Manila International Airport Authority (Miaa) General Manager Ed V. Monreal said the online survey “Guide to Sleeping in Airports” blog’s complaint about tanim-bala, or bullet-planting scheme, frequent power outages, poor air-conditioning, lack of seats and complicated terminal transfer were problems during the past airport administration.
“All of these defects were addressed during the first 100 days of the Duterte administration,” Monreal said, adding that, since he assumed office in July, the bullet-mulcting scheme was immediately stopped.
“I consulted with the Office for Transportation, and Security [OTS] and the National Police Aviation Security Group [PNP-Avsegroup] told them to stop arresting passengers caught with bullets. Just confiscate…any live bullets or amulets, then let them go,” Monreal told OTS Chairman Miguel Oraa and Avsegroup chief Mao Aplasca.
Monreal said the airport officials, during a meeting shortly after his appointment, had a meeting and agreed to allow passengers to go free and not be bothered by being booked or hailed to court for possession of one or two bullets.
“Walang pasahero na gustong makulong dahil sa ilang bala lang na maaaring aksidenteng naiwanan para anting-anting o kaya may ibang dahilan [No passenger wants to be jailed for a few bullets, which may have been put there as amulet or for other reasons],” the airport chief added.
Those victimized during the past administration of former Miaa General Manager Jose Angel Honrado have complained that some OTS personnel have demanded for money to settle the offense, knowing that they are pressed for time boarding their airplanes.
The new Miaa management has also tightened the security and intelligence work on all four passenger terminals to ensure the safety of passengers and airport users.
Monreal said they have added scores of chairs at the departure lobbies of all the terminals to avoid the sight of passengers seating or sleeping on the floor while waiting for their flights.
“Air-conditioning and power supply were also given priority for the passengers’ comfort while inside the premises,” he added.
The airport headman acknowledges the four international airport in the country that made it to the 30 best airport in the region and hopes that the next survey would either place the Naia among the best, or not anymore among the worst.
“The new Miaa management is doing its best to give our clients the comfort they needed while at the airport,” Monreal assured.
In the latest survey, The Guide to Sleeping in Airport’s top 30 best airports in Asia for 2016 placed Iloilo International Airport at 12th, besting the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in India (13th). This marks the first time the Davao airport made it to the list, while Cebu ranked 14th; Clark, 15th; and Davao International Airport, 26th.
“[The] lloilo International Airport is, at the moment, probably the best-looking and most efficient airport in the Philippines,” a traveler quoted in the survey said.
The Guide to Sleeping in Airports survey rates airports in Asia is based on overall experience in terms of comfort (rest zones and gate seating), services, facilities and things to do, food options, immigration/security, customer service, and cleanliness.
The top 10 best airports in Asia as voted by tourists in the 2016 survey are Singapore Changi (first); Seoul Incheon (second); Tokyo Haneda (third); Taipei Taoyuan (fourth); Osaka Kansai (fifth); Hong Kong International Airport (sixth); Kuala Lumpur (seventh); Tokyo Narita (eighth); Mumbai India (ninth); and Nanjing Lukou in China (10th).
The Naia, however, is still among this year’s top 30 worst airports in Asia, ranking fifth on the list, three notches better than last year’s eighth ranking.