Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mactan int’l airport terminal project expansion underway

The expansion of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport terminal has finally begun.

The P178.6 million project aims to accommodate more travelers and improve the quality of available services, said MCIAA general manager Danilo Augusto Francia at a press conference yesterday.

It includes the construction of two more passenger waiting lounges, two boarding bridges, and two passageways to the bridges.

The project is slated for completion on September 2011.

Funding will come from the airport's revenues, which has reached P76.03 million,

When the Mactan airport was opened in the 1960s to replace the old Lahug airport in Cebu City, the facility was built to accommodate 4.5 million passengers during peak hours: 4 million domestic passengers and 500,000 international passengers.

Last year alone, one million international passengers used the Mactan airport, where daily traffic has exceeded its capacity.

The airport welcomes an average of 14,000 passengers daily, mostly from domestic flights, said Francia.

“This was not prepared to be an airport hub when this was constructed. We noticed that the lounges were not enough to accommodate the existing passengers,” Francia explained.

“All the counters are enough except for the lounges. That is why all the expansion is for additional lounges. That is the concentration for this construction.”

The expansion “will add comfort and quality for the passengers.”

He assured that construction, which will go on for 18months, will not disrupt airport operations.

Security will also be tightened with the installation of more closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras .

Last week, a woman, who had just sent off her daughter on a dawn flight, lost her bag to a taxi-riding robber who stopped her as she was walking on the road over a block away from the terminal.

About 200 construction workers will be on duty in different shifts at the airport, said Francia.

Their movements will be monitored and all gates will be fitted with CCTV cameras to record any untoward incidents, he said.

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