NAIA rehab plan proposed

Posted on October 28, 2011

THE NATIONAL Competitiveness Council (NCC) and a team of industrial designers have proposed a rehabilitation plan for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in a bid to enhance the country’s infrastructure competitiveness, an official said yesterday.

The redesign for the NAIA -- generically known as Terminal 1 -- was released a week after backpacking readers of online budget travel Web site The Guide to Sleeping in Airports voted the Manila aviation gateway as the worst airport in the world due to poor structural maintenance, dirty facilities, lack of recreational facilities and prevalence of theft.

The NCC, a public-private agency that coordinates government efforts to raise Philippine competitiveness rankings, tapped the NAIA engineers and architects, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) officials, the Budji Layug + Royal Pineda Design Architects, and furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue to come up with improvements.

A three-minute video walkthrough of the plan first appeared on the official Facebook community page of Mr. Cobonpue on Wednesday describing the vision as an inexpensive and simple-to-adapt structure that allows a quick and smooth movement of travelers through security, immigration and the carriers.

“Sometime in early April, we convened the first meeting of a team led by Manila International Airport Authority General Manager (retired Major General Jose) Angelo (A.) Honrado, NAIA Terminal Manager Dante Basanta together with architects and designers Budji Layug, Royal Pineda, and Kenneth Cobonpue. Before we started the actual design process, we studied the situation in the entire Manila International Airport Authority,” Guillermo M. Luz, NCC private sector co-chairman, said in a statement sent via e-mail yesterday.

The design team and the council noted that the main airport’s four terminals, which serviced 27.1 million passengers last year, was expected to reach its 31-million capacity within the next two years with NAIA and the Centennial Terminal 2 for Philippine Airlines flights receiving bulk of the traffic.

Upgrading NAIA, however, had to produce dramatic results in decongesting traffic without expanding the current facility.

“In designing the changes, the basic mission was to transform NAIA into a ‘boutique’ airport in comparison to the region’s larger international airports and improve the passenger’s travel experience to and from the Philippines in terms of service, comfort and facilities,” Mr. Luz said. -- Eliza J. Diaz