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3, 2011 DATE

NR # 2606

House to conduct a probe on NAIA as the worlds worst airport

A lawmaker has called for a congressional probe on the 2011 airport review of the The Guide to Sleeping in Airports ranking the Philippines as the 5th worst airport in the world and the worst in Asia for 2010. In House Resolution 1839, Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay (Party-list-AVE) urged the House Committee on Transportation to conduct an inquiry on the mediocre infrastructure and services in the countrys major airports that compromise the welfare of the riding public and affect the tourism industry and recommend measures for legislative actions. Magsaysay urged the House body to summon the representatives of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and other concerned agencies to shed light on the matter. Magsaysay said the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 has suffered another downgrading setback because of its drastic slide into the rankings purely attributed to poor facilities, bribery and security concerns. Magsaysay said the report, entitled The Guide to Sleeping in Airports, a popular website with over 7,200 airport, train and bus station reviews, stated that the ranking was based on poll votes and user reviews for reasons such as safety concerns, lack of comfortable seating, rude staff, hostile security, poor facilities, few services to pass the time, bribery and being kicked out or other hassles of being at the airport. The terminal has been a frequent target of criticism with travelers who say it is congested and filthy, Magsaysay said. Magsaysay said it was ranked lower than some airports such as the Paris Beauvais, Reykjavik Keflavik, Franfurt Hahn, London Lutton and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which also belong to the Top 10 Worst Airports of 2011. Despite these reports, MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado believes that it is unfair to label the terminal as the worst in the world since much has been done to improve the airport, Magsaysay said. Magsaysay said GM Honrado even dispels some of the complaints including sanitation, theft and extortion, which according to him have already been resolved since 2010. Magsaysay said NAIA Terminal 1 was completed in 1981 and has a size of 67,000 square meters with a design capacity for 4.5 million passengers a year. The airport is only showing signs of wear and tear after 30 years suggesting that the only solution for this problem is for the country to have a new international gateway in Clark, Pampanga. The problems at NAIA Terminal 1 only compound the current woes in our airline and tourism industries, Magsaysay said. (30) lvc