The world’s worst
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
Terminal 1 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is in the headlines once again, this time after a website ranked it as the worst airport in the world, sliding down from “The Guide to Sleeping in Airports” 2010 assessment of being the fifth worst in the world and the worst in Asia.
The ranking of NAIA was based on reviews of travelers who complained, among other things, of: “safety concerns, lack of comfortable seating, rude staff, hostile security, poor facilities, no (or few) services to pass the time, bribery, being kicked out and general hassles of being in the airport”.
NAIA Terminal 1 manager Dante Basanta defended the facility by saying that the issues mentioned in the website are old and rehashed, and that improvements have already been implemented in the past months. However, given the age and state of the facility, we must frankly admit that while those band-aid solutions may improve the ranking of the airport from among the worst in the world, it doesn’t stand a chance against the website’s choice for top three airports: Singapore Changi, Hong Kong, and Seoul Incheon. That these top three airports are located in Asia only highlight just how far the Philiipines has lagged behind its neighbors.
What is it with Filipino airports that make them so terrible? Our own experience with the relatively new Bacolod-Silay Airport, of supposedly international standards, substantiate fears that what is happening at NAIA Terminal 1 is not an isolated case but is part of a very worrying trend. Despite the hefty terminal fees and travel taxes, airports all over this country, old and new, are apparently not given the attention they rightfully deserve as gateways into our country and its beautiful provinces.
Are our officials going to be content with getting our airports out of world’s worst list or do they actually have plans of threatening the airports that are at the top of the world’s best list?*