MANILA, Philippines – Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said on Tuesday, November 29, that he viewed as a “challenge” the recent ranking of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as among the “most stressful” airports in the region, and shared his plans to improve the country’s premier airport.
“Regarding this report that Manila International Airport is the third most stressful airport in Asia and Oceania, we take this as a challenge,” Bautista said in an interview on CNN Philippines’ The Source.
Bautista shared several plans for the airport, including measures to tackle congestion during the holidays and other improvements for the convenience of travelers. He highlighted the recently announced terminal reassignments for Philippine Airlines and AirAsia flights as a way to better distribute passenger flow across the airport.
“In Terminal 4, there are only like a little over 500 seats. When there is a delay of two or three flights, there’s really congestion,” he said. “Terminal 1 has unused capacity. This will improve the experience of the passengers as terminal 2 has been very congested.”
Bautista also confirmed that the DOTr is conducting a pilot test to reduce the security checks that passengers have to go through, especially for flights to the United States. The department is aiming to remove at least one of the four security checks that passengers have to go through.
“Admittedly, there are so many checks now that we undergo, but what we plan to do is to reduce these checks,” Bautista said.
“What we plan to do when we transfer the flight to Terminal 1 is to reduce this at least by one. In the meantime, we will not be able to reduce by two. But the plan is to reduce by one. If the TSA will be happy with the result of the test, we can reduce it to two,” he added.
The Transport Security Administration (TSA) is a US government agency tasked with overseeing airport security for flights to and from the US.
Bautista also acknowledged the need to make more airport concessionaires credit card-friendly. This came after a Dutch travel content creator posted a video showing several stores in NAIA that only accepted cash – a heavy inconvenience for passengers transferring through the airport and wanting to grab a quick snack.
“We are working with concessionaires to have the facility of credit cards or other modes of payment. We’re also talking to the airlines for them to convince their passengers to have the cards that are available that are accepted in the airports,” Bautista said.
Third among ‘most stressful airports’
These plans follow a report that found NAIA as the third most stressful airport in Asia and Oceania, just below Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Vietnam which was ranked first, and Sydney Kingsford Smith International Airport in Australia, ranked second.
Travel blog Hawaiian Islands analyzed more than 1,500 Google reviews from 500 airports around the world. The data for NAIA showed that about 58% of passengers traveling through the airport reported being stressed.
NAIA was also named as the worst business class airport in the world earlier this year in a report by worldwide luggage storage app Bounce. According to the report, NAIA scored the lowest in the world in terms of number of destinations, on-time performance, and ratings from air transport rating organization Skytrax.
The DOTr earlier responded to the Bounce report by citing “significant improvements” at NAIA during the Duterte administration. – Rappler.com