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What is a ‘silent airport’ and why is Mactan-Cebu IA doing it?

What is a silent airport and why is Mactan Cebu doing it?

Entrance leading to Terminal 2 of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport | CDN Digital Photo by Morexette Marie Erram

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Airports can be nerve-racking places.

Amid the rush of travelers checking in, and passengers not wanting to miss the flights, it cannot be denied that airports can be stressful.

Compounding this problem is noise pollution in and outside the airport. Hearing your name being called via loudspeakers during the flight’s final boarding announcement can only add up to one’s anxiety.

And thus, the silent airport concept was born.


A growing trend among airports worldwide, the silent airport aims to provide a more relaxing and stress-free environment for travelers by minimizing — if not, completely eliminate — background noise.

These included non-urgent announcements through the airport’s speaker intercoms.

A silent airport utilizes visual signals and signages in communicating with passengers and personnel instead of speaker-based systems.

Personalized text messages reminding travelers about policies in the airport as well as updates about their flights are also part of a silent airport concept.

The silent airport trend is no longer a new concept as airports from other countries started implementing it way back in 2015.

These included Singapore’s Changi Airport, Dubai International Airport, Bristol Airport in the United Kingdom, and the Amsterdam Schiphol in The Netherlands.

Here in Cebu, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) began its transition to becoming a silent airport last January 2024, as part of its management’s goals of enhancing passenger experience.

READ MORE: Mactan Cebu airport goes ‘silent’


Aside from minimized noise pollution, in a silent airport, according to experts, passengers can focus on more essential tasks.

With the help of electronic board displays, and the absence of distraction like background noise can help travelers navigate their way to their boarding gates more effectively.

Silent airports also make for a relaxing and comfortable environment where travelers can read a good book or listen to their favorite songs without being constantly interrupted by loud, irrelevant announcements.


Silent airport also has its share of disadvantages.

Among them are cases wherein passengers forget to board their flight on time as they have become ‘too relaxed’ in the airport.

Reliance on visual cues and signals can also be a struggle to travelers used to hearing important announcements through speaker intercoms – something the silent airport trend is doing away with.

This is why some airports following the silent airport concept make exceptions on several calls, particularly during emergencies and urgent ones like final boarding calls.

Mactan-Cebu goes ‘silent’

The MCIA became the country’s first to adopt the silent airport movement. In order to balance the benefits against the risks, airport officials vowed to keep everyone aligned in its goal of promoting a more comfortable airport experience.

TAGS: Cebu, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA)
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