MANILA – Philippines may hold another "first" in airport record, this time, one that something Filipinos could be proud of.
If all goes well, the "world's first resort airport" will be seen in Mactan, Cebu, construction of which is the government's first airport public-private partnership (PPP) project.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said groundbreaking ceremony for the project began Monday, with the construction of a new world-class international passenger terminal building and the renovation of the existing terminal.
The project is envisioned by concessionaire GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC).
The construction of the new terminal is expected to be completed by 2018, while the renovation of the existing terminal is slated to be completed in 2019.
The new terminal is seen to boost the airport’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million per year from the current 4.5 million.
“The kick-off ceremony for the construction of the new international terminal for the country’s second-biggest gateway, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), is touted to be the start of Philippine airports matching the best in the world,” said Transportation Sec. Jun Abaya.
“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 added.
GMCAC was awarded the 25-year PPP contract last year, after offering the government a premium bid of P14.4 billion. Operations and maintenance of the airport was turned over to the consortium in November 2014.
“It is clear to us that GMCAC brings international expertise into running an airport, immediately it has already made substantial improvements without making structural works yet. What it will do now that we are breaking ground is exciting for us, and especially for travelers to and from Cebu,” Abaya said.
Among these improvements are a centralized security check system; additional immigration counters and self-service kiosks; LED lighting; and redesigning of seating patterns.