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MANILA — The much-awaited rehabilitation of NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) Terminal 1 is finally pushed through with multi-awarded Kenneth Cobonpue to do its interiors “pro bono”.

Secretary Jun Abaya of the DOTC (Department of Transportation and Communications) announced that it is moving forward with the P2.8-billion rehabilitation of NAIA terminal 1 with plans to bid out by next month contracts to address structural and architectural components.

Targeted for completion in time for the hosting of the APEC Summit in 2015, the design complements the original exterior which, due to the national patrimony law, cannot be altered.

In a meeting held in the DOTC office on May 10, 2013, five Cabinet secretaries chose to adapt the original design of Cobonpue, Budji Layug and Architect Royal Pineda. The trio will work with the architectural firm of Leandro V Locsin who designed the present NAIA terminal.

Shelved in 2011, the original plan revolves around a green oasis in the heart of the city surrounded by several road rings flanked by a multi-level parking building and a greeters’ terminal. Abaya said that the trio would put a “Filipino taste and modern feel” to the planned rehabilitation, with Sec. Jimenez saying that the “aha feel” in the proposed design was what they were looking for.

Based on data from the Center for Aviation (CAPA), NAIA was the 34th busiest airport in the world last year, having served about 830,000 passengers per week. In October last year, NAIA also bagged the title world’s worst airport to sleep in overnight due to bad facilities, based on an online survey conducted by the website (Manila Bulletin)