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NAIA ranked 10th most improved airport worldwide

From being the worst airport to being one of the most improved airports in the world, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has definitely come to a full turnaround in just two years.

The 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 on Wednesday.

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. The 2018 Awards are based on 13.73 million airport survey questionnaires completed by over 100 different nationalities of airline customers during the survey period.

“We are literally changing the headlines --- from worst to most improved. I am happy and proud of what our NAIA and airport teams have done over the past two years. But, this should not satisfy us. Kailangang mas pagbutihan pa. Konti pa, magiging worst to best na ‘yan,” said Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade.

General Manager Ed Monreal of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), the agency responsible for the management of the NAIA, attributed the good news to the reforms in policy that the DOTr and MIAA have been carrying out to reduce flight delays, decongest the airport, and improve the over-all passenger experience.

“We had to make policy changes in terms of general aviation and maintenance of airport facilities, but the truth is that most of the policies are already in place and all we did was strictly implement them. You’d be surprised at how strict implementation of existing regulations made a whole world of difference,” said GM Monreal.

Reforms in the NAIA

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.

Here's a Facebook post of Department of Transportation:

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