Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Mactan-Cebu International Airport named Asia-Pacific Medium Airport of the Year

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was awarded the Asia-Pacific Medium Airport of the Year in the CAPA 2018 Asia Aviation Awards for Excellence. MCIA emerged top among airports with over…

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was awarded the Asia-Pacific Medium Airport of the Year in the CAPA 2018 Asia Aviation Awards for Excellence.

MCIA emerged top among airports with over 10 million annual passengers. It was awarded for having been “the biggest standout strategically,” having “established itself as a strategic leader,” and having “done the most to advance the progress of the aviation industry.”

CAPA’s Aviation Awards for Excellence, held in Singapore on November 8, is regarded as the pre-eminent awards for strategic excellence in aviation. It rewards airlines and airports that are not only successful but have also provided industry leadership in adjusting to a new environment.

MCIA Terminal 2

MCIA was selected for the successful opening of Terminal 2, which provides ample capacity to support international growth and offers the best airport passenger experience in the Philippines. Terminal 2 lifts the airport’s capacity from 4.5 million to 12.5 million. The terminal took only three years to build with construction beginning less than a year after the airport was transferred to a new private sector consortium consisting of India’s GMR and the Philippines’ Megawide.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport

Terminal 2 of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

 

Following the successful privatization, MCIA won CAPA’s Asia Pacific small airport of the year category in 2016. Annual traffic reached 10 million passengers in 2017, putting MCIA in the medium airport category. Total passenger traffic at Cebu grew at a consistent 14% clip in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and has accelerated this year, reaching 26% in the first eight months of 2018.

MCIA’s international traffic has more than doubled since 2014, when the airport handled only 1.7 million international passengers. International traffic grew 29% in 2017 to 3.1 million, and is on pace to exceed 5 million this year following 65% growth through the first eight months.

MCIA network

All three main Philippine airline groups have been pursuing rapid expansion at Cebu, which they are now using as an alternative hub for transfer traffic. The airport also has attracted eight new foreign airlines over the last three years, and is currently served by 16 foreign carriers. MCIA’s network has expanded rapidly, and currently consists of 24 international and 16 domestic destinations.

“The opening of the new international terminal follows a highly successful privatization, positioning the airport for rapid growth and making MCIA a model for other airports in the Philippines and throughout Asia as potential PPP (Public Private Partnership) opportunities are evaluated,” said Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority General Manager Steve Dicdican.

At a time of industry upheaval, CAPA Aviation Awards winners are recognized for adopting strategies that offer new directions for others to take up. The CAPA Awards for Excellence are not driven by customer surveys or sponsorship. An independent panel of international judges researches the awards. (Press Release)

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New Mactan Cebu airport terminal set to open by middle of 2018

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to…

Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year, but GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) is working to have it ready to operate by the first of June.

In the lead-up to opening day, GMR-Megawide will invite stakeholders to check out and test the facility through a series of activities that will be held from April to June, said chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison.

To be invited are representatives from the academe especially engineering students, media, and tourism industry such as those in the hotel, travel, and transport sectors.

There will also be open days when GMCAC, the consortium managing the terminal operations and other related areas of MCIA, will invite members of the general public to register for a tour of the facility, according to branding head JR Torres.

MCIA Terminal 2

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE. Mactan Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 is on track to open as scheduled by July 1 this year.

Terminal 2 features

Harrison added that the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million.

It pays tribute to Cebu as a resort island and Cebuano heritage of furniture making in the terminal roof that uses glulam, first ever use of the material in an airport, and mimics ocean waves. Glulam, also called glued laminated timber, is made up of layers of wood bonded together with structural adhesives.

The new terminal will have a spacious and airy atmosphere, featuring ceilings that are 26 meters high and full glass walls. The polished concrete floor will have mother of pearls mixed in so it would sparkle like sand in the sunlight.

Mactan airport Terminal 2

SPARKLING FLOOR. The polished concrete floor will have mother of pearls mixed in so it would sparkle like sand in the sunlight.

Located on a separate floor from the arrival area, the departure level will only have two check-in islands but with several counters.

Increasing passenger traffic

MCIA eyes passenger traffic of 11.2 million in 2018, an increase of 12 percent from last year, with the opening of Terminal 2 and the launch of new flights out of Cebu.

The airport welcomed six additional airlines in 2017, including Air Juan, Juneyao Air, OK Air, Lucky Air, Sichuan Airlines, and Pan Pacific Airlines.

GMCAC credits the positive growth in MCIA’s passenger traffic to its destination marketing initiatives and its positioning of Cebu as gateway to the rest of the Philippines and major transfer hub to international destinations. Harrison said they will continue with their efforts in this direction.

Once the new terminal is operational, Torres said they will start a major renovation of Terminal 1. GMCAC had started initial rehabilitation of the old terminal when it took over management of MCIA and put up a rooftop solar power system that resulted in monthly savings of P1.2 million in electric consumption.

Mactan airport Terminal 2

INCREASED CAPACITY. GMR-Megawide chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison says the new terminal will have three levels with total space of 65,000 square meters and increase the Cebu airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million.

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GMR-Megawide faces challenges in Mactan airport expansion

Delays in the relocation of Philippine Air Force (PAF) structures within the proposed site of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) new terminal could put off the project’s completion by 10…

Delays in the relocation of Philippine Air Force (PAF) structures within the proposed site of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) new terminal could put off the project’s completion by 10 months, an executive of GMR-Megawide said recently.

There are currently 17 Air Force structures scattered throughout the 110.9 acres (44.9 hectares) that span the total area of the Mactan airport expansion project, added GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison.

One PAF building that serves as base terminal for military flights that land in Cebu sits right on the middle of the MCIA Terminal 2 footprint, which has an area of 5.4 acres (2.2 hectares), he further said.

“Under the concession agreement (with the Philippine government), the property was supposed to have been given to us by December 2014,” Harrison said. GMR-Megawide was awarded the contract to undertake the Mactan Cebu International Airport expansion in April last year.

Although a contractor has been picked to undertake the replication of PAF facilities in another area of the Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base and given the signal to proceed, Harrison said the project timeline was for anywhere from 100 to 300 days.

Andrew Acquaah Harrison

GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison updates journalists on the progress in the work on the Mactan-Cebu International Airport new terminal.

Interim solution

According to him, PAF officials continue to reject their proposal for the Air Force to use the nearby MIP (Most Important Persons) Building as a temporary terminal so GMR-Megawide could already start work on the project.

The consortium, he added, is working with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA), and other stakeholders to find solutions to the problem so the new terminal can be completed and opened by February 2018.

Consortium executives had met several times with PAF and MCIAA officials since November to discuss the interim solution but reached no agreement.

He said he understands that the Air Force wants to ensure its operations wouldn’t be compromised, especially if it has to mobilize air assistance in times of catastrophes, but it can still achieve this even if it transfers to the MIP Building.

“The MIP solution is reasonable. There is sufficient area on the (Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Force) apron for half to be occupied by PAF (aircraft) and the other half to be used by the consortium (when it starts work on Terminal 2),” Harrison pointed out. The airport apron is where aircraft are parked, unloaded or loaded, refueled, or boarded.

Cary Santiago design

NEW UNIFORMS. The new uniform of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport staff was designed by Cary Santiago.

Terminal 2 challenges

It would take GMR-Megawide, according to Harrison, only two weeks to redraw its plans once PAF agrees to its recommendation so it could proceed with the work on the terminal and ensure that Air Force operations continue.

Harrison said MCIAA general manager Nigel Paul Villarete informed them recently that Air Force officials were interested in another meeting to discuss the consortium’s suggestion but no date has been set.

“We have certain options under the concession agreement but we don’t want to get into that. We want to open the new terminal on time. We need this capacity,” he added, citing the current terminal was built to cater to an average of 4.5 million passengers but is serving 7 million per year.

Mactan-Cebu International Airport expansion

AIRPORT PROJECT. The area enclosed in red is the Terminal 2 project while those bounded in blue line is the total project area.

Another challenge faced by the consortium is the delay in importing materials needed for the Mactan airport project.

Harrison said the project, as a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative that is worth over P1 billion, can import duty-free materials for three years. Two months after submitting documents so it could avail of this incentive, he added, GMR-Megawide still has to get approval from the Bureau of Investments.

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