THE number of international passengers at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) has grown from seven million in 2014 to 11.3 million in 2018.
“We have grown by leaps and bounds in the past few years,” said Steve Dicdican, MCIA Authority general manager, during a press conference of the Center for Asia-Pacific Aviation (Capa), attended by Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. and Capa chairman emeritus Peter Harbison.
Dicdican said the airport’s consistent growth and performance have not gone unnoticed in the world stage because the MCIA was recognized by Capa as the “Regional Airport of the Year” in 2016 and the “Medium Airport of the Year” in 2018.
“These are validations of our efforts and investments over the years to expand and modernize our airport. Being thus commended has further reinforced our commitment to raise the quality of our airport service and the passenger experience and propelled us to redouble our marketing campaign to create more routes and flights to our destination. We have always treasured their involvement in the Capa summits,” Dicdican said.
He said the Capa summits they attended kept them abreast with the latest airport and aviation trends and allowed the authority to network with aviation industry players so it could gain insights and perspectives on the requirements, concerns and challenges of the aviation market.
“We are envisioning Cebu as a hub because it is strategically located in the country. We hope to be a hub internationally, as well as domestically,” Dicdican said.
Earlier, Dicdican also clarified that the ongoing second runway project is separate from House bill 149 filed by Cebu City North District Rep. Raul del Mar, which proposed the construction of a second runway.
He said that while they already appropriated P2.5 billion to implement the project, del Mar’s bill is still a proposal and subject to passage into law by the Senate and approval by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Dicdican also clarified that the runway design had already been awarded to Phil Jac Inc., which will submit the design in October, after which the project will be put up for bidding and awarded to the winning contractor by December 2019.
He said that although the second runway is not needed immediately, they must start implementing the project to avoid the fate of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which has been suffering flight delays due to runway traffic congestion.
Del Mar, for his part, had said he respected the decision of the board for its initiative and urged the board not to defer its initiative nor wait for the bill to become a law. (EOB)