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Mactan Cebu airport capacity seen rising 178% to 12.5 M passengers

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said construction of a new passenger terminal at the Mactan Cebu International Airport would be completed in 2018 while the expansion and renovation of the existing terminal would be finished in 2019. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The capacity of the country’s second busiest airport is expected to surge 178 percent with the completion of the P17.5 billion Mactan Cebu International Airport project in 2019.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said construction of a new passenger terminal at the Mactan Cebu International Airport would be completed in 2018 while the expansion and renovation of the existing terminal would be finished in 2019.

Abaya is set to lead the groundbreaking ceremony for the Aquino administration’s first airport PPP project today.

“The kick-off ceremony for the construction of the new international terminal for the country’s second-biggest gateway, the Mactan Cebu International Airport, is touted to be the start of Philippine airports matching the best in the world,” he said.

The airport’s passenger capacity will increase to 12.5 million per year from 4.5 million once the project is completed.

“It will not only cement our place on the global map as a major tourist and business destination, it will boost the local economy and is projected to generate jobs especially in Cebu,” Abaya said.

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GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), jointly owned by Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure and Filipino-owned Megawide Construction Corp., bagged the P17.5 billion Mactan Cebu International Airport expansion project after submitting the highest premium payment of P14.4 billion for the PPP project in December 2013.

The project covers the construction of a new world-class international passenger terminal building (PTB), as well as the renovation of the existing PTB and its conversion into an exclusively-domestic facility.

Immediately upon assuming operation and maintenance responsibility, GMCAC began implementing ‘soft improvements’ to the existing terminal, or those improvements that did not require major civil works, to enhance passenger experience at the gateway.

For instance, a centralized security check (CSC) system was opened earlier this month to speed up the processing time for departing guests. It features four X-ray machines that can be used interchangeably, which then doubles the capacity of the final check-in counters. 

To further reduce passenger queues, GMCAC also opened additional immigration counters and self-service kiosks wherein passengers can pre-check-in.

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