Hope springs eternal: NAIA can be among world’s best airports, says MIAA exec

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA)– once tagged as the worst airport globally– can join the ranks of Singapore’s Changi Airport as one of the world’s best gateways, a ranking government official said.

Senior Assistant General Manager Bryan Co of the Manila International Airport Authority told One News’ “The Chiefs” that his agency has “programs in place” when asked about the sorry state of the country’s biggest gateway.

Co defended NAIA from all the criticisms amid recent reports of theft by airport staff, harassment from Immigration officers, and alleged even human trafficking cases happening within the airport complex.

“There are more than 20 different government agencies working in NAIA. Although some of the agencies do not directly report to us, they do operate under our roof. That’s why we take shared responsibility over what happens in our airport,” the airport official added.

“In fact, by Thursday, we will have another meeting with interagency working groups so that we can try to address all of these issues thatwe are facing — whether it’s lost items, whether it’s long queueing, orthe other things that are happening around in our airport,” he said.

Despite this, Co is not letting go of a pipe dream to bring NAIA on the list of the world’s best under the watch of President Bongbong Marcos, whose Transportation executives are long-time Philippine Airlines executives Secretary Jaime Bautista and MIAA chief Cesar Chiong.

“All of these are airports that are in the top 100, they didn’t get there overnight. What’s important is they do have a program in place to be in the top 100 or in terms of the metrics of Skytrax,” Co said.

He is mainly counting on digitalization as a starting point for NAIA’s improvement.

“For us to improve the experience of the passengers and of the general public is by embracing other means of improving the process such as digitalization because we can’t improve physically anymore,” he added.

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