NAIA 1 rehab seen to start in December
MANILA, Philippines - The much-awaited rehabilitation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 1 (NAIA 1) is expected to start by December 1, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.
Abaya said the Department of Transportation and Communications will bid out the NAIA 1 rehab project by November 15. This will allow the project to be started by December 1 and finished by November 2014.
The DOTC expects to complete the NAIA rehab in time for the Philippines’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in 2015.
The rehabilitation will cover the mechanical and electrical components of the airport, the architectural design and the structural aspects, to ensure that the terminal can withstand earthquakes.
However, the passenger load of NAIA 1 will be reduced from the current 8 million to 4.5 million, with some flights transferred to NAIA 3. The NAIA's capacity is only about 6.5 million annually.
The decades-old NAIA 1 was once again named the world's worst airport by users of "The Guide to Sleeping in Airports" website. The NAIA 1 has been criticized for "dilapidated facilities", long waiting times and even rude airport employees.
Malacañang has approved the structural retrofitting and rehabilitation of NAIA at a cost of P1.16 billion.
Meanwhile, Abaya said more people are expected to travel early for the All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day holidays. He noted many are also going home for the barangay elections on October 28.
As a result, DOTC will be launching its Oplan Undas on October 25 (Friday).
Abaya said the DOTC will be making sure the airlines will abide by the Air Passenger Bill of Rights.
He said the DOTC will make sure that guidelines are posted in all airport terminals. While admitting that CAB personnel are not organized to man all airports, Abaya said they will introduce more hotlines to remedy the personnel shortfall.