Airport operator gains full access to terminal site

By: Vanessa Claire Lucero January 06,2016 - 02:40 AM

THE private operator of Mactan Cebu International Airport said the government has turned over the entire project site for the new terminal.

With construction in full swing, GMCAC chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah Harrison said the second terminal will be completed within the first quarter of 2018.

Work on Terminal 2 (T2) was supposed to begin in January last year, but was delayed by five months because GMCAC didn’t have access to the project site which was occupied by the Philippine Air Force.

As of December 29 last year, Harrison said all parcels of land needed for T2 have been turned over to GMCAC. Replication of Air Force structures affected by the project is still ongoing in other parts of the Mactan Benito Ebuen Air Base.

Renovations are still being undertaken in Terminal 1. Washrooms have been refurbished, check-in and baggage systems updated, and security checks made better and faster.

The domestic passenger service charge, commonly known as terminal fee, has been raised further to P300, effective January 1 this year.

The first tranche of the increase, which is provided for in the 25-year concession agreement that GMCAC signed with the MCIA Authority in April 2014, took effect in January 2015 and brought the terminal fee to P220 from P200.

The MCIAA will use the proceeds from the increase to finance the improvement of facilities.

“The model that’s being used for this concept for the terminal fee collected actually goes to fund several different initiatives. This model is practiced in most airports around the world where there is one collection that’s subdivided to support different resources in the airport,” Harrison said.

Asked whether the public can expect further increases in terminal fees, Harrison said the increase is a fixed formula controlled by the government.

“Any of the other airports in the Philippines will also, as they look towards development, consider increase of terminal fees,” he said.

GMCAC took over Mactan Airport in November 2014, six months after it signed a 25-year concession agreement to manage and upgrade the airport. The project, estimated to cost P17.5 billion excluding the P14-billion one-time premium payment, was the first airport public-private partnership contract in the country.

The new terminal will increase the airport’s capacity to 12.5 million passengers. The existing terminal was built for 4.5 million, but currently serves more than 7.1 million passengers.

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