Mactan-Cebu International Airport lays out contingency measures as typhoon whips PH

Published September 15, 2018, 9:28 PM

by Roel Tibay


By Minerva BC Newman

MACTAN, Cebu – The Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) has laid out appropriate contingency measures should typhoon Ompong disrupt airport operations here and elsewhere and ensure the safety and comfort of passengers.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport terminal 2 was openned to a tour for the Members of the media and to the public yesterday as GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) showed some of the terminal's features including the Glulam roof structure, link bridge canopy drop off area of departing passengers,check-in counters glowing lanterns, the pearl flooring, and F and B retail options. The Terminal 2 will fully operate with its first flight to and from Shanghai China on July 1. (Photo by: Juan Carlo de Vela) mbnewspictures / mbnewspix
The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (Juan Carlo de Vela/ MANILA BULLETIN) 

GMCAC Chief Executive Advisor Andrew Harrison said many of the elements in the preparations and contingency measures for this typhoon were based on lessons learned from the Xiamen Air mishap at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Metro Manila.

“MCIAA, GMCAC, airline operators, and the ground handling agencies have taken the common view that these lessons must be applied and consistently sustained at MCIA,” Harisson said.

According to GMCAC corporate communication affairs officer Avigael Maningo, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) runway was closed in the morning of September 15 for only one hour while the remaining four-hour closure was called off.

There will be no runway closure today, September 16.

Ready for diverted flights

Should the need arise, further closures may be requested for the consideration of MCIAA, Maningo added.

In the event of flight diversions, MCIA can provide 15 contingency parking spaces for diverted aircrafts.

In agreement with its airlines partners, MCIA will accommodate diverted flights on a first-come, first-serve basis, provided there are aircraft parking facilities are available.

Emergency flights in instances such as fuel shortage and medical emergencies will be prioritized.

At the same time, MCIA will ensure available capacity is maintained for its scheduled and planned flights.

Holding area

Maningo said GMCAC will have an extended holding area at Waterfront Mactan where stranded passengers can comfortably stay.

Stranded passengers will not be mixed with the regular passengers, while passengers with exceptional needs such as those who have undergone recent medical treatment will be provided hotel accommodations, she added.

GMCAC will closely coordinate with the local hotels within Lapu-Lapu City and neighboring cities to provide airlines and ground handlers with updated information on room availability.

Basic supplies available

According to Maningo, GMCAC has ample supply of bottled water, baby’s diapers, hygiene kits, slippers, sleeping mats and blankets ready for distribution to stranded passengers.

Telecommunication companies Globe and Smart have also committed to ensure inventory of load and SIM cards are available for purchase for passengers when needed.

Bus service will be provided for inter-airport transfers as well as city hotel transfers for stranded passengers.

Medical support has been augmented to provide additional medical personnelfor the duration of this disruption period.

All information counters in both terminals will be properly manned 24/7 wherein passengers can seek assistance.

Safety, security

The Philippine National Police and other security agencies were requested to maintain regular patrols in both terminals to ensure the security and safety of passengers and airport staff.

All airlines’ reservations and hotline numbers will be displayed prior to entry to the terminals to provide passengers with contact information for rebooking and ticketing arrangements, Maningo said.

OFW assistance

For departing overseas Filipino workers, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration was requested to ensure additional manpower is available to deal with affected passengers and to process any issues that may arise due to late departure to their destination.

GMCAC has set up an Incident Management Center in Terminal 2 as the central command post for monitoring Typhoon Ompong which will be manned 24 hours in the next three days.

Updates, updates

All updates including storm movement, airline cancellations and announcements, hotel availability, and other pertinent information will be made available to all airport stakeholders to ensure quick response to any disruptions.