New Mactan Cebu Airport terminal seen to open ahead of schedule
MACTAN ISLAND, Cebu—-The GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) might open the new Terminal 2 (T2) of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Lapu-Lapu City, ahead of schedule.
GMCAC Chief Executive Advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison said they could open the new terminal by June, a month ahead of its July 1 schedule.
Although no specific date had been given, he added, the T2 concessionaires had been told to be ready to open on June 1.
“We just have to confirm the final date (of opening to the public),” he said.
Construction of the new airport terminal is now 74-percent complete.
Harrison said they were on target with the construction of the T2 which they expected to be finished by March.
Trials, tests, and simulations inside the facility would be done between April and June, Harrison said.
GMCAC branding head JR Ramos said aside from the trials and simulations, they would also be holding site visits with different stakeholders over the same period.
“In the next couple of months leading to the June launch, we will be exposing the terminal to stakeholders starting off with the academe,” Ramos said.
“We will hold school tours, invite universities and engineering students to look at how a world-class structure looks like. It’s basically a transfer of knowledge,” he said.
Aside from the academe, they will also hold site visits with hotel groups, travel groups, transport groups, and the media.
GMCAC will also open the T2’s doors to the general public, ahead of the opening by holding open days where they can visit the new terminal which will cater only to international flights to and from Cebu.
Once completed, the terminal is expected to cater to 4.5 million passengers annually, ideally. It could go to as much as 6 million or even 13 million a year.
Terminal 2 will span approximately 45,000 square meters and can be expanded further in its second phase.
The new terminal will serve all international flights with eight aerobridge-equipped aircraft parking stands. It will be connected by a link-bridge to Terminal 1, which will be refurbished for domestic use.
For 2017, the GMCAC has recorded increases in its passenger traffic in the existing Terminal 1 which hosts both domestic and international flights.
A total of 9.97 million passengers were recorded in 2017, 11.72 percent higher than the 8.93 million traffic recorded in 2016.
The number of flights also increased in MCIA to 66,120 domestic flights and 21,440 international flights in 2017 from 56,210 and 16,390 flights in 2016.
GMCAC credits the growth of MCIA’s passenger traffic to its destination marketing initiatives which is their main strategy in strengthening Cebu’s connectivity and its positioning as a gateway to the rest of the Philippines as well as a major transfer hub to other countries.
In 2017, six new airlines were added to the existing ones using the MCIA namely Air Juan, Juneyao Air, OK Air, Lucky Air, Sichuan Airlines, and Pan Pacific Airlines.
Air Juan, which has land planes coming in and out of MCIA, have flights to smaller islands in the Visayas like Biliran, Bantayan town, Maasin City in Southern Leyte, Sipalay City in Negros Occidental, and Siquijor.
GMCAC is also beefing its penetration to the Chinese market as it launched direct flights to six destinations in China namely Beijing, Chongqing, Fuzhou, Kunming, Shanghai, and Xian.
“We had four new Chinese airlines that opened. The Chinese market is one of the emerging highest spenders in Asia and we are trying to capture that market and bring them to Cebu,” said Avigael Maningo, GMCAC corporate communications manager.
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