MANILA, Philippines — The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is no longer included in the top 20 worst airports in the world and the top five worst airports in Asia in 2017.
In October 2016, NAIA was named fifth worst airports in Asia in a survey conducted by “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” travel website. The latest survey released by the website on Sunday, however, no longer listed the Philippine airport.
The 2017 surveys named Juba International Airport of South Sudan and Tashkent International Airport of Uzbekistan as the worst airports in the world and in Asia, respectively.
NAIA landed on the worst airports list in 2016 as travelers, including overseas Filipino workers complained about the “laglag bala” or bullet planting scheme.
The Manila airport also earned the world’s worst airport title from 2011 to 2013. It ranked fourth place in 2014 and was not included the top 10 worst airports in the world in 2015 but was named the eighth worst airport in Asia during the same year.
While NAIA is out of the worst airports list, four provincial airports of the Philippines were listed as among the top 25 best airports in Asia for 2017. Joining the list are Iloilo International Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Clark International Airport and Davao International Airport.
Transport chief Arthur Tugade welcomed the travel website’s feedback and vowed to continuously improve NAIA, citing that his agency must “not be complacent.”
“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!” he added
Despite the airport being out of the list, Manila International Airports Authority General Manager Ed Monreal still consider improving NAIA as a challenge.
“The bigger challenge is to maintain or even surpass our achievement,” Monreal said.
The DOTr cited the following reforms made during the Duterte administration:
Restriction on general aviation to prioritize commercial flights and reduce flight delays;
Imposition of the five-minute rule [where pilots who declare they are ready to take off must depart within the prescribed time or they would be put back at the back of the queue] to reduce flight delays and instill discipline among airlines;
Construction of Rapid Exit Taxiways to allow an aircraft to leave the runway at higher speed and increase flight movements; and
Provision of cleaner toilets additional seats, free Wi-Fi, and Well-Wishers’ Area
The transport department also added that it “allowed regular taxis to queue and pick-up passengers at the designated points in NAIA terminals to address shortage of taxi units servicing passengers.”