It is good news that the P2.8-billion rehabilitation of Naia Terminal 1 is finally underway, according Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya (see Business section, page B1, June 20, 2013).
What’s even better news is that the project will be a powerful collaboration of the country’s foremost design and architecture talents.
The Leandro Locsin architecture firm led by Andy Locsin and the Budji+Royal Pineda Design firm and world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue will make over the Naia Terminal 1 to make it, if not up to par with airports in the region, at least user-friendly—and to make it a better representation of the modern and progressive Filipino. The airport, after all, is the visitor’s first glimpse of the Philippines.
Cobonpue/Layug/Pineda will handle the design concept, and Locsin, the architecture.
Given that powerhouse team, the changes, apparently, will go beyond the cosmetic, and should give Naia 1 a new lease on life, even as there are other international airports operating in Luzon.
A priority is how to lessen the congestion in the entry and exit points. The human and vehicular traffic is what makes going to the old Naia 1 insufferable.
The design plan calls for a four-lane driveway for a smoother traffic flow.
Another priority is the greeters’ area—given that in the Filipino culture, the departure and arrival of loved ones become a community or a barangay outing.
There will be four exit points to pick-up bays for convenience and security. There will be ample and comfortable seating for greeters.
An air-conditioned bridgeway will connect the terminal to multilevel parking structure. There will be three floors of parking, with a roof deck. There will also be a multilevel Duty Free Shopping center.
And—this is so contemporary lifestyle—al fresco dining will be looking over the tropical garden.
The aim is, as Secretary Abaya said, to create an “aha” passenger experience.
We may not have the “buck” of a Singapore or a Hong Kong, but we have the biggest “bang” where Filipino talent is concerned.