A concrete pouring ceremony earlier this year marked the start of the construction of the eagerly awaited new Terminal 2 at Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in the Philippines.
The new $370 million terminal is expected to bring new levels of comfort, operational efficiency and sense of place to the airport in addition to increasing its appeal to the airlines and almost trebling its capacity from 4.5mmpa to up to 12.5mppa.
Hong Kong-based Integrated Design Associates (IDA), which has previously worked on projects at Beijing Capital, Delhi-Indira Gandhi and Hong Kong airports, forms part of Terminal 2’s design team.
At Mactan-Cebu, IDA is working in tandem with the country’s three “kings of interior design” – Budji Layug, Royal Pineda and Kenneth Cobunpue – on the design, look and feel of the new terminal.
And according to operator, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), the architecture of Terminal 2 will pay tribute to the Cebu’s heritage.
Indeed, the shape of the new terminal has been designed to resemble a native canoe known as a Bangka, which is very much a part of Cebu’s cultural inheritance.
While GMCAC reveals that the new 50,000sqm facility will feature a blend of modern building materials and Cebuano culture and heritage.
Speaking during the groundbreaking ceremony, the GMR Group’s chairman for airports, Srinivas Bommidala, said: “The new terminal will be specifically developed to enable passengers to enjoy the Cebuano experience the moment they set foot in the Philippines.”
Located next to the existing terminal and designed with modular expansion in mind, Mactan-Cebu’s new T2 will have a distinctive two level forecourt, which its designers assure will be fully integrated with the complex’s landside developments.
In terms of facts and figures, the terminal will initially boast 48 check-in counters – expansion will raise this number to 72 – and seven boarding bridges capable of handling both wide and narrow-body aircraft. A further five boarding bridges are planned.
GMCAC says that the goal of ensuring that the complex is passenger-friendly ensures that T2 will boast an array of retail and F&B outlets and be equipped with 12 escalators and 15 elevators to “facilitate the easy movement of passengers, including those with reduced mobility and disabilities”.
It notes that the concessions offering will cater to the “taste and aspirations” of both local and international travellers as well as providing additional sources of revenue for the airport.
The potentially game changing new terminal for Mactan-Cebu International Airport will also have its own 550-vehicle capacity car park, which can be expanded to 750 spaces in the future if demand dictates.
And the airport is not going to stop there as potential future developments already under discussion for some time after Terminal 2’s opening include proposals for a new shopping mall and an airport hotel.
“Our vision is for Mactan-Cebu International Airport to become the world’s friendliest gateway that demonstrates the warmth and hospitality of the Cebuano people,” says an airport spokeswoman.
“It will be an airport that will make guests feel that their resort experience has started the moment they set foot in the terminal.”
In addition to the economic benefits it will bring upon opening, T2’s design and construction over the next three years is anticipated to provide a massive boost to local communities through the creation of up to 3,000 jobs.
The terminal is expected to provide the catalyst for growth for Mactan-Cebu and as such was one of the key projects GMCAC agreed to invest in when winning the bid to operate the gateway.
“The development of Terminal 2 and the expansion of the airport will allow GMCAC to launch more direct international services to Cebu and expand the number of domestic connections such that Cebu becomes a major gateway into the Philippines,” says a spokeswoman.
“As a result, we believe that tourism, business and leisure travel will increase significantly and positively contribute to the economic prosperity of Cebu.”
In many ways the potential of Mactan-Cebu was demonstrated by the launch of four new international services to Los Angeles, Dubai, Taipei and Xiamen in the first quarter of 2016.
In fact when announcing the planned launches earlier in the year, GMCAC’s chief executive advisor, Andrew Acquaah Harrison, revealed the ambition to transform Mactan–Cebu into a regional hub connected to the rest of the world.
If current growth rates continue, the airport expects its annual passenger numbers to reach 8.9 million by 2018 based on handling 350 daily flights as opposed to around 220 today.