Improvement in services

Written by Margaret Jao-Grey
13 February 2009

Here’s some good things happening at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia).

For one, the fixers and facilitators are gone or are, at least, more discreet. In their stead are uniformed personnel of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) with proper IDs.

For such services as being met at the airport or getting through immigration in a hurry, an individual or a company can pay P800 per person directly to MIAA. Whatever is collected will form part of MIAA’s revenues, half of which will be remitted to the national government as dividends, and the remaining half will go to operating costs such as the P500 million needed to pay the salaries of 3,500 employees and capacity building (read: infrastructure improvement) for Naia, which accounts for 90 percent of the country’s arrivals and departures.

These days, the washrooms are clean the toilets flush and there’s always toilet paper. There’s also talk that MIAA general manager Alfonso Cusi will put in foot basins for Muslims in all washrooms.

MIAA projects gross revenues this year at P8 billion, based on a 2-percent increase in international tourists and close to 15-percent increase in domestic travel. When Naia 3 is fully operational, Manila will be able to handle 32 million tourists a year. Last year, Naia handled 22 million arrivals.

Right now, Naia 1 serves 7 million customers, a million more than its 6-million capacity. Even Naia 2 (read: the Centennial Airport of Philippine Airlines) cannot handle the huge number of passengers in its highly lucrative trans-Pacific flights. To temporarily resolve the overcrowding, departing passengers who usually leave in the evening are allowed to use a connecting lounge of the domestic airport, which has no customers at night.

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