NAIA 1 swelters as airconditioners get replaced
MANILA, Philippines – Airport officials are appealing for understanding as workers begin to replace old and malfunctioning airconditioners at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 1.
The process will lead to an unusual rise in temperatures in some areas of the terminal, Manila International Airport Authority General Manager Jose Angel Honrado warned on Saturday.
He said the replacement of the terminal building’s air handling units (AHUs), which is now ongoing, was a component of the NAIA rehabilitation project, an overhaul aimed at improving operations at a terminal building where facilities had been allowed to deteriorate over the last 30 years of its existence.
Honrado had said that the Rehabilitation Project was a challenge to the airport authority and to the Department of Transportation and Communications owing to the magnitude of work to be done while keeping it open for the public.
“Under the circumstances, we humbly seek the continued support and understanding of our airport users. Let us instead look forward to the good that all these efforts will bring to us and to our country at large,” the airport chief said in a statement.
Honrado warned travelers that the replacement of at least 36 old airconditioning units was expected to raise temperatures inside the terminal.
The work began as soon as the first 17 brand new units were delivered, he added.
According to MIAA, the areas to be affected by the replacement of the first 17 units of old AHUs are portions of the arrival level, including the baggage reclaim and customs areas.
At the departure level, the east-side of the check-in hall will be affected.
Airline and government offices on the fourth level and passenger lounges of airlines such as Japan Airlines, MIASCOR, Thai Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Korean Airlines will not be spared from the heat, Horando said.
Singapore Airlines, however, is scheduled to transfer its operations to Terminal 3 on September 1.
The MIAA now awaits delivery of 19 new airconditioning and their installation will begin as soon as delivery is made.
According to Honrado, the replacement of the first 17 units is expected to be completed by November year while the rest of the new air handling units should be installed by March of next year.
With its decrepit facilities, particularly toilets, NAIA 1 has been described as “one of the world’s worst airports.”
Recently it drew additional criticism following the shutting down of the airconditioning system due to the accumulation of dust and other particles resulting from rehabilitation work on the building done last summer.
Several passengers were reported to have fainted due to the heat. One of them, a lawyer, even filed a P1.5 million damage suit against the MIAA and an airline after he fainted while queuing up for his flight last May.
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