Philippines' President Aquino says 'worst airport' now looking much better

Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, hailed renovations to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport. A travel website poll in O
Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday, April 1, 2015, hailed renovations to Ninoy Aquino International Airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport. A travel website poll in October 2011 rated the airport’s Terminal 1 (pictured) as the world’s worst airport. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

MANILA (AFP) - President Benigno Aquino Wednesday hailed renovations to the Philippines' main international airport, expressing optimism it would soon shake off its ranking on one website as the world's worst airport.

Almost a year after he personally apologised for the failure of air-conditioning at Terminal 1 of Manila's international airport, Aquino said the facility appeared to be completely different.

"It is like I have entered a completely different airport," he told reporters as he inspected the 34-year-old terminal.

Asked by reporters if the terminal would no longer be called the world's worst, Aquino told reporters: "That's up to you, but they even raised the ceiling." Ninoy Aquino International Airport - named after the president's father, who was assassinated there in 1983 - topped the list of worst airports on the travel website "The Guide to Sleeping in Airports" from 2011-2013.

Travellers have long criticised its "dilapidated facilities", dishonest airport workers, rude officials and long waiting times, the website said.

However in its 2014 survey at http://www.sleepinginairports.net/2014/worst-airports.htm, the Manila terminal improved its standing - to only the fourth worst in the world, after Islamabad, Jeddah and Kathmandu airports.