Passengers should bring umbrellas to Naia 1
“Rain, rain, go away …” was what passengers and airline workers must have chanted as they were forced last week to open umbrellas inside the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 1 building because its ceiling was leaking.
The P1.3-billion rehabilitation project at the terminal may have produced a more earthquake-resilient, and aesthetically pleasant, airport but the contractor, DM Consunji Inc. (DMCI), apparently overlooked one thing—waterproofing.
Naia 1 manager Dante Basanta said on Sunday DMCI had dealt with the problem, which was made obvious by a thunderstorm over Pasay City on Wednesday morning. “They have repaired the ceiling and cleaned up the carpet,” he told the Inquirer, apologizing to those affected by the unfinished work on the roof.
The rehabilitation project has allocated more space for passenger movement in the arrival and departure areas, upgraded equipment, specifically the cooling system, improved the overall appearance of the terminal and made it structurally safe for passengers.
It had practically dealt with everything, except weather-proofing.
Rain-damaged areas after the downpour included several predeparture lounges, as well as the east and west concourse areas or the corridors leading to the aircraft.
Passengers had to be assisted by umbrella-holding airline staffers as they walked through the sodden carpeting so they would neither get drenched nor slip on the wet floor.
Basanta said he had also asked DMCI to make other structural adjustments to prepare the terminal for the fast-approaching rainy season.
July 3 target
He said that despite the repairs and other improvements, the rehabilitation project would be completed by the end of the month.
Basanta said that while the rehabilitation of the entire terminal was previously projected to be finished by the end of May, work on the apron and fourth level was still going on.
The fourth floor is where the airline administration offices are located. On the apron are the airline ramp offices, as well as hotel and car rental service providers.
Rehabilitation work on the passenger areas or in those generally accessible to the public, including the check-in areas and boarding gates, had been all done, Basanta said.
The renovation, which started in January last year, aims to improve the 2011 ranking of Naia 1 as the world’s worst airport as listed on the website “Guide to Sleeping in Airports.”
The rating was based on complaints of travelers about safety and convenience, rude and hostile staff, and poor facilities.
The website also cited the collapse in 2011 of a portion of the terminal’s ceiling, which raised questions about the 30-year-old terminal’s structural integrity.
The Manila International Airport Authority claimed the rehabilitation began way before the dismal rating, after an inspection found flaws on the terminal’s structure.
Originally posted: 4:01 PM | Sunday, May 31st, 2015
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