With the Philippines hosting this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, thousands of international delegates are expected to arrive and go through the NAIA Terminal 1. With the government’s Php1.3 billion airport rehabilitation project now being completed, the country’s primary gateway is set to accommodate the huge volume of incoming visitors, including foreign dignitaries and delegates to the APEC meetings, as well as returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and foreign tourists during the Christmas season.
NAIA Terminal 1 has long been associated with warm temperatures, which did not only have an impact on the experience of travelers, but also on the working conditions of airport staff. It was said that average temperatures within the airport would shoot up to 28 degrees Celsius.
Under the leadership of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Maj. Gen. Jose Angel A. Honrado, AFP (Ret), the airport’s facilities have since been modernized and state-of-the-art equipment has been purchased to address such concerns raised and provide maximum comfort to travelers going through the facility.
One of the major upgrades to solve the problem of poor air-conditioning and warm temperatures at the NAIA Terminal 1 was replacing the 20-year-old chillers of its centralized air-conditioning system.
Carrier installed four new 1050TR water-cooled Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) centrifugal chillers, which replaced the old chillers of a different brand and which had been in use since 1995. The new Carrier chillers are now able to maintain the cool temperatures of the airport at desired comfort cooling level using only two chillers at a time. Compared to the new Carrier chillers, the previous brand would require three chillers operating to maintain ideal temperatures, which means more power was being consumed.
“Water cooled chillers enable efficient power consumption and are best for airports that are mostly dependent on passenger volume,” says Willy Estrella, Director of Commercial & Industrial Solutions of Concepcion-Carrier Air Conditioning Company (CCAC). “The Carrier chillers are capable of adapting to the cooling load changes due to the varying passenger volume, while still operating at optimum efficiency. After installation, we will also be conducting regular comprehensive maintenance services to ensure that the chillers continue to perform at their best.”
The new Carrier chillers are expected to operate for a long time with proper maintenance done regularly. Carrier chillers also use the R-134a, a refrigerant which meets global standards for environmental protection. Moreover, the new Carrier systems are significantly more energy-efficient compared to the previous brand being used, and can help the airport save on electricity costs.
According to Dante Basanta, Manager of the NAIA Terminal 1, from having been dubbed as one of the worst airports in the world, the NAIA Terminal 1 has started receiving more positive reviews from the public. “In the past, the warm temperature inside the airport could worsen even the minor problems encountered by our travelers, so the cooler temperature that Carrier brings has really improved the situation. We have more passengers expressing their satisfaction with the cooler environment in the airport,” he shares. Basanta worked closely with Assistant Terminal Manager Engr. Llewellyn Villamor in overseeing the rehabilitation project of NAIA Terminal 1.
Meanwhile, Danny Gemarino, chief engineer of the NAIA Terminal 1, shares, “The goal is to preserve the cool temperatures inside the airport. To achieve that, the chillers should undergo regular maintenance. We appreciate the after-sales services of Carrier because we are sure that the chillers are properly maintained by authorized, capable, and well-trained service personnel.”
Rajan Komarasu, Group Director of Concepcion Building and Industrial Solutions, notes, “Carrier’s energy-efficient and reliable cooling capabilities cater to the needs of an airport like the NAIA Terminal 1 and can help ensure worry-free operations. We know that tourism is a driver of the Philippine economy, and our work at the NAIA Terminal 1 is our contribution to ensuring that travelers to the Philippines will have positive perceptions and experiences as they arrive in and depart from the country. These experiences could only lead to return trips or positive word-of-mouth for the Philippines.”