Ambitious as it may sound but Cebu really is making huge waves. Or at least, rising up to the challenge of redeeming ourselves. A year from now, the world’s first ever resort airport will rise right here – in the Queen City of the South. Now, that’s something we can truly be proud of.
News of the world’s first resort airport were all over the Internet, print and other media some two years ago. However, the people behind this project left much to the imagination. So what can we expect from this very ambitious undertaking?
Airport passengers in Cebu will triple
GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), in charge of the renovation of the MCIA, is working on a new terminal with a passenger carrying capacity of 12.5 million a year, a far cry from the existing capacity of 4.5 million.
The MCIA is the second busiest airport in the Philippines, next to NAIA. The said airport is already pushing beyond its current passenger capacity limits, accepting up to 6 million passengers. The larger, more modernized airport will certainly boost passengers’ travel experience and encourage more and more tourists to visit the Visayas and even the southern parts of the country.
The new airport may be our saving grace
After the “laglag bala” or “tanim bala” (bullet-planting) scheme beset the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, putting Manila and the rest of the Philippines in a very bad light, a revamp on the Mactan-Cebu International Airport may be our saving grace! Above all else, this project aims at providing “stress-free, smooth and secure travel” for guests. It’s but expected for an airport project this grand (worth Php14.4 billion).
We have to wait another year though for those murky waters to flow under the bridge. Despite President Duterte’s mandate to end the scheme, it continues to plague us. The latest being the brouhaha about some Miss Universe 2017 candidates arriving at NAIA with their luggage all wrapped in tapes and plastic, a counter measure against bullet-planting.
The MCIA resort airport will be the world’s benchmark
We’ve seen how amazing the airports in Dubai, New York and other prosperous countries are. They’re simply wow! We can now check out reviews of airports worldwide through TripAdvisor’s airport pages. Hopefully by 2018, the MCIA will top the list. If all goes well, the new MCIA will definitely be a cut above the rest in terms of service and amenities.
This time around, it won’t be us looking up to world-class airports abroad. It will be the world looking up to us, to Cebu’s airport. The world’s first ever resort airport will set the standards for airports here and abroad. Of course, it won’t be long for other countries to surpass what we will accomplish in MCIA, considering the speed and ingenuity of super countries like Japan. Still, the pioneer distinction in resort airports will forever be ours, and ours alone!
Not just an airport (gateway), but a destination
Too many times, we’d like to rush out of the airport terminal and head home or to somewhere we planned to be. There’s never really a reason to linger in the airport longer than necessary. If ever we’d have to stay longer, it only means one thing – we’re having a bad travel day. Could be that our flight’s cancelled or delayed, or we’re denied boarding. Now, MCIA passengers finally have a reason to extend their airport stay, and love it.
Passenger will have resort-like experience the moment they arrive at the new MCIA. As part of the renovation, a resort hotel will rise within the MCIA grounds and serve as a luxurious respite for guests beginning February 2018. The new resort hotel is part of the airport public-private partnership (PPP) concession signed by GMCAC, the government’s alternative to the privately owned Waterfront Airport Hotel & Casino Mactan located a stone’s throw away from the MCIA.
Consortium will manage MCIA for 25 years
GMCAC will continue to manage the MCIA for the next two decades under a 25-year concession contract between the Philippine’s Megawide Construction Corporation and India’s GMR Infrastructure Limited. Megawide owns 60% of GMCAC, while GMR owns the rest.
During this term, operation and maintenance of the airport rest in the hands of the consortium. This should give the government time to focus on other endeavors and issues. Yes, we expect the government to have more time for pressing matters as it unloads the responsibilities that go with managing the MCIA, and hopefully, in the near future, other local airports and infrastructures as well.
Are you excited for the world’s first resort airport? Share your thoughts with us through our comments section. And yes, we don’t mind you sharing this article with your friends!
Here is what it looks like as of June 10, 2018:
Update as of June 29, 2018: