Aboitiz wants Mactan airport to become ‘smart airport’
(UPDATED) CEBU CITY, Philippines – The new group that is set to join the operations of the country’s second busiest airport plans to transform it into a ‘smart airport.’
Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC) announced that they are considering making Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) into a ‘smart airport.’
Rafa Aboitiz, Assistant Vice President for Project Development of AIC, said they want to further improve passenger experience in MCIA.
Doing so, they are planning to incorporate technological innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) into their operations. They cited Singapore Changi Airport, Dubai International Airport, and Heathrow Airport as examples.
Should their plans push through, travelers can expect streamlined security protocols, and more convenient passenger and baggage check-in processes, Aboitiz said.
Executives of AIC, the infrastructure arm of Aboitiz Group, were in Cebu on Wednesday, September 28 for a press conference.
Early this month, both Megawide and Aboitiz announced their landmark deal for the Mactan airport. It is still subject to requisite third-party and regulatory approvals.
MCIA, the country’s second busiest gateway, next to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), is currently co-operated by GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC).
GMCAC is the concession formed by Megawide and India’s GMR in 2014 to co-manage the Mactan airport together with the government’s Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).
Megawide Construction Corp. and GMR Airports International BV inked a P25-billion share subscription and transfer agreement with the Aboitiz unit for the sale of MCIA developer and operator GMCAC.
The first tranche of the purchase involves about a third of GMCAC’s primary and secondary shares for P9.5 billion.
Megawide and GMR would also be issuing P15.5 billion worth of exchangeable notes, which would mature on Oct. 30, 2024. These would then be exchanged for the remaining shares in GMCAC.
Meanwhile, the Aboitiz Group is also preparing to launch a P12-billion bond sale in the fourth quarter to help finance the acquisition of MCIA as well as repay certain outstanding obligations./ with reports from the Philippine Daily Inquirer
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