Jan 22, 2008

Design Shortcomings of NAIA Terminal 2

Our airport recently received a lot of flak because its rating was downgraded by the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).

Even without relying on reviews of foreign boards, I could say our airport system (Terminals 1 and 2) lack sufficient management, just by going through them. Although Terminal 2 is much much better than Terminal 1, it still has many shortcomings.

One of these shortcomings is the lack of good signage. When you enter the waiting area of T2, you can't immediately spot your specific gate since there are no signs to help you. The photo above (which I trawled from the web) shows a bit of what I'm pointing out. Note the white columns that could have served as posts for mounting signs.

Compare this to the Hong Kong International Airport.

The photo to the left shows a vertical column with a clear gate number. Terminal 2 lacks this kind of signage.

Instead, you have to find your bearings by looking at the gate nearest you and then guessing whether the gate numbers will ascend to the left or right.

This guesswork actually contributes to traffic and the need for guests to ask questions from personnel. This burden is easily removed with proper signs.

The photo to the right shows additional signages that indicate telephone and internet terminals at the HK International Airport.

These problems, which hint of a lack of hands-on management, are symptomatic of most government-operated services or agencies. Our MRT and LRT come to mind; also the chaotic system for releasing most permits and licenses. True, the LTO and NSO have improved much of their systems and processes, but we still have a long way to go.

How about you? What have you noticed in our airport that we could improve?

Please post a comment here and let's see where it gets us!


Sheryl said...

HK Int'l Airport & the one in Singapore (Chang something, I forget hehe) are VERY easy to navigate. I didn't have to ask around which way to go.

Unlike in Terminal 1, its a total chaos. I don't need to start a looong list here hehe.

In Terminal 2, I'd have to walk and take a closer look for each post find my gate.

Urbano dela Cruz said...

i'll go macro on you.

biggest design flaw? Why aren't our airports connected to our mass transit systems?


ben c. said...

Urbano Benjie -- How right you are. Plus it is so difficult to get public transport there.

The only safe option right now is to get a coupon taxi, which sets you back a minimum of P600.

A cab would only cost me P200 to get to the airport from Ortigas. But in Terminal 1 and 2, the coupon taxis rule!

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