By Dhel Nazario
The recent turnaround of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has been attributed by General Manager Ed Monreal to the reforms in policy that the Department of Transportation (DoTr) and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) have been carrying out.
Among these policy changes were to reduce flight delays, decongest the airport, and improve the over-all passenger experience. NAIA ranked 10th among the Most Improved Airports in the World that was announced during the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2018 held in Stockholm, Sweden last week.
The Skytrax World Airport Awards are voted for by air travelers in the largest annual global airport customer satisfaction survey, which was operated independently from August 2017 to February 2018, covering 550 airports worldwide.
In the World Airport Survey, the respondents answered survey questions related to their travelling experiences across different airport service and product key performance indicators – from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration through to departure at the gate.
Monreal said that the testimonies of passengers about their travelling experience in the NAIA serve as their inspiration to sustain the momentum, as well as perform even better.
“We are only as good as our last accomplishment. The bigger challenge now is how to sustain it. Their testimonies serve as inspiration for us to believe that change is not impossible even in the midst of trials,” he said.
Among the reforms implemented in the NAIA during the Duterte Administration were (1) restriction on general aviation to prioritize commercial flights and reduce flight delays; (2) imposition of the five-minute rule wherein pilots who declare they are ready to take off must depart within the prescribed time; (3) provision of cleaner toilets, additional seats, free Wi-Fi, and Well-Wishers’ Area; (4) instituting new policies for baggage handling; and (5) eradicating the laglag-bala scheme.
NAIA was also named among the eight Philippine airports who got a one-star rating for on-time performance by the Official Aviation Guide (OAG) last year.
A survey released by “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” travel website on 15 October 2017 also showed that the NAIA is no longer included in the top 20 worst airports in the world, and even in the top 5 worst airports in Asia for 2017.