AIRPORT passengers will continue to see more improvements at Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) this month, as its private operator promises more state-of-the-art amenities to enhance their airport experience.
The installation of these new features will be completed in time for Cebu’s hosting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in August.
GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Inc. (GMCAC) chief executive advisor Andrew Harrison told reporters yesterday that the airport is completely ready for the APEC Summit.
“In terms of our readiness, the Apec National Organizing Committee is happy with the changes they are seeing at the airport. They did not ask for anything other than the APEC Lounge,” said Harrison.
A new feature recently installed is the common self-service check-in kiosk, which was added to reduce queuing at the check-in counters. The new system will initially cater to passengers of Cebu Pacific and Cathay Airlines starting today.
A flight information display will be installed next month to allow passengers to check the status of their flights. Passengers, according to Harrison, may also view the flight information using their smartphones through the airport’s website.
By August, GMCAC will install VeriPax, a device that verifies flight and boarding pass information to optimize passenger flow at the airport. The device can also read mobile boarding passes of passengers. They will also install a baggage reconciliation system to reduce offload time and mishandled bags through tracking.
To further address congestion, the private operator will convert the VIP Lounge into a gate lounge in a month’s time. Harrison said this will increase seating capacity to 20 percent.
Meanwhile, washroom refurbishment and expansion will be completed between August and October this year.
“In the coming months, passengers will have a completely different experience at the airport,” he said.
GMCAC has also built an airport medical center which has four beds and an ambulance. The new clinic operates 24 hours daily.
In the coming weeks, Harrison also disclosed that there will be new tenants at the airport. “We are looking at eight to nine new categories for retail,” he said.
As for the development of Terminal 2, Harrison said that the 10-month delay of the construction has been reduced to six months, after concerned parties reached an interim solution.
He reported that they have started the excavation works for certain areas early this week. “We are still hoping to reduce the delay to a more reasonable period,” said Harrison.
Terminal 2’s completion is slated for the summer of 2018. The airport’s expansion may require capital spending between P17 billion and P22 billion.
Terminal 2 is seen to increase the total capacity of MCIA from 4.5 million to 12.5 million passengers.
DOT 7 Director Rowena Montecillo welcomes the new development at the airport saying, that the upgrade is sure to encourage more tourists to come to Cebu.
“The DOT would like to congratulate GMCAC for the improvements in the arrival and departure areas of MCIA. Recognizing the capacity challenges for the current terminal, GMCAC found a way to create more space to give comfort and convenience to the travelers. (Today), our airport will introduce the kiosk where the passengers can do self check-in, another first in the country. We look forward to more innovations from GMCAC to improve the existing terminal before we finally have a new terminal,” said Montecillo.
Source: Katlene O. Cacho, http://www.sunstar.com.ph