P17.5-B Terminal 2 of Cebu airport to open on June 7

Published June 4, 2018, 10:36 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Calvin Cordova

CEBU CITY– The P17.5-billion Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) will spur economic and tourism development in Cebu.

This is the assessment of business leaders in Cebu as the world’s first resort airport formally opens on June 7 with no less than President Rodrigo Duterte expected to grace the momentous event.

Mactan Cebu International airport (Wikimedia Commons) | mb.com.ph
Mactan Cebu International airport (Wikimedia Commons) | mb.com.ph

“I am excited and I know all the Cebuanos are excited with the opening of the new terminal. It is a landmark project,” said Stanley Go, president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).

Cebu is one of the country’s top tourist destinations and it is just about time for the province to have a world-class airport, said Go.
“There was a time when our airport is the best, better than the airport in Manila. But over time, the airport in Manila upgraded while ours became outdated and congested that it can no longer accommodate local and foreign tourists,” Go said.

Developed and operated by consortium companies GMR Group and Megawide Construction Corp., the new terminal will have 48 check-in counters and will be equipped with a total of 12 escalators and 15 elevators.

The new terminal, which will start commercial operations on July 1, will have a parking facility that can accommodate 550 cars.

If expanded, the parking facility can handle up to 750 cars. The terminal will also feature automatic tray return system (ATRS) that will enable the passengers to pass through X-ray machines easier.

“Having a world-class airport is just like a house or an office, the entrance should be welcoming. It should be big and grand because it is your first contact with visitors,” said Go.

The new terminal will solidify Cebu’s status as a premier tourist destination, according to another businessman.

“It will reinforce Cebu’s position in the global perspective. It’s really a good project, it will bring major development in Cebu,” said Glenn Soco, past president of MCCI and the current head of the Infrastructure Development Committee of the Regional Development Council.

The new terminal will cater to inbound and outbound international flights and expected to increase MCIA’s passenger capacity to 12.5 million a year. With the opening of the new terminal, the old terminal will be used exclusively for domestic flights.

“We are really excited with the opening of the new terminal,” said Shalimar Hofer Tamano, regional director of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Central Visayas.

Tamano explained that tourists must be impressed the moment they arrive at their destination.

“First impression lasts and when they leave that’s also their last impression,” said Tamano.

Efren Belarmino, general manager of Plantation Bay Resort and Spa who is considered one of the pioneers of Cebu’s tourism industry said, the new airport terminal will not only be good for Cebu.

“This will not only benefit Cebu but also other provinces. Instead of going to Manila, they will just come to Cebu for their international flights,” said Belarmino.

While they welcomed the new terminal, the government must also develop other infrastructures.

“We expect more foreign airlines to come in. We expect influx of tourist starting July, we will be having dialogues with various stakeholders especially the transport tourism so that the left hand will know what the right hand is doing,” Tamano said.

Having a good airport is not enough, said Tamano.

“We want the tourists to have a seamless travel from the airport. We have to know the number of available buses or vessels so they can move quickly from the airport to northern Cebu or southern Cebu,” Tamano said.

“The new terminal is a landmark project but we should not stop there. We should also improve our road network as traffic in Metro Cebu is worsening. We hope this is just the beginning,” said Go.

Soco agreed with Go.

“We should push for a mass transport system. We should develop an inter-connection with other provinces,” said Soco.
As more tourists are expected to arrive with the new terminal, the worsening traffic situation in Metro Cebu should be addressed, said Soco.

“Review our policy on land use related to urbanization. We should look ahead to avoid problems that other congested cities are experiencing,” said Soco.

While it is important to push for infrastructure development, Belarmino stressed that the public must also do their part to maximize the full potential of the existing facilities.

“We have to observe road courtesy. We can all have the infrastructures but if we don’t have the discipline, there will still be no improvement. What we need is a drastic change when it comes to road courtesy because traffic is already bad,” Belarmino.