The Philippine Star
Now boarding: MCIA Terminal 2 opens
Realizing the important role of a stateof-the-art international airport as a vital engine to drive economic growth, the newly renovated and improved Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 officially opens its doors to the public today.
The second busiest airport in the country, the MCIA already handles around 5.9 million passengers per year despite having a design capacity for only 4.5 million passengers. The recent improvements will now allow the MCIA to accommodate up to 12.5 million passengers per annum. For 2018, the MCIA projects passenger traffic to reach 11.2 million, an increase of 12 percent from last year.
SEEDS OF TRANSFORMATION
Back in 2014, the Department of Transportation and Communications awarded the operations and maintenance of the MCIA to a consortium between one of the Philippines’ leading construction firms, Megawide Corporation and India’s GMR Infrastructure Ltd., a world-renowned infrastructure developer with a track record of transforming airports into award-winning airports in India and other countries. With a bid of P17.5 billion, it was the biggest public-private partnership project (PPP) under then President Benigno Aquino III.
The newly formed GMRMegawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) then proceeded in the rehabilitation, renovation and expansion phase of the airport. Two years after GMCAC assumed control in the operations and management, the MCIA was recognized as one of the Best Airports in Asia.
On Jan. 25, 2018, GMCAC chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison announced that the new terminal building would be named MCIA Terminal 2, which will start catering to international flights this month. President Rodrigo Duterte inaugurated the new 65,000-square-meter MCIA Terminal 2 last June 7.
THE WORLD’S FIRST RESORTTHEMED AIRPORT
The MCIA is the first resortthemed airport in the world, offering arriving passengers their first and lasting impressions of Cebu. It features the impressive designs of Hong Kong-based Integrated Design Associates (IDA) together with design mavericks Budji Layug, architect Royal Pinda and Cebu’s very own, worldrenowned furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue.
A key feature of the iconic wave-shaped and barrel-roofed Terminal 2 building is the use of arched beams made from glued laminated (glulam) timber wood, a highly innovative construction material that is stronger than steel and has greater strength and stiffness compared to traditional lumber, according to experts.
On Nov. 12, 2013, the world’s longest and heaviest aircraft, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, landed at MCIA from the Zagreb International Airport in Croatia, a first in Philippine aviation history. The plane delivered a 180-ton replacement transformer for First Gen Corporation’s power plant in Batangas City. Powered by six turbofan engines and with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tons, the Russian-made aircraft is the heaviest ever built. It is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that specializes in carrying oversized payloads.
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport now connects 21 international destinations, 35 domestic routes and 24 partner carriers. International carriers at the new Terminal 2 include Air Busan, Asiana Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, China Eastern, Emirates, EVA Air, Jeju Air, Jin Air, Korean Air, Lucky Air, Okay Airways, Pan Pacific Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Philippines AirAsia, Royal Air, Scoot, Sichuan Airlines, SilkAir, T’way Air, Vanilla Air and Xiamen Air.
Meanwhile, the Terminal 1 is home to domestic cariers Air Juan, AirSWIFT, Cebgo, Cebu Pacific, PAL Express, Philippine Airlines and Philippines AirAsia.