THE Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was voted 18th best airport in Asia in a survey by a website that ranks airports based on responses from travelers.
Two other airports in the Philippines made it to the top 30 airports in Asia: the Iloilo International Airport, which ranked 21st; and the Clark International Airport, which ranked 24th.
The website www.sleepinginairports.net (The Guide to Sleeping in Airports) released the results of its 2015 Airport Survey last Saturday.
The ranking, it said, was based on “overall airport experience” as determined by travelers.
“It’s an honor and we are grateful. It inspires us to be even better,” said Estee Marie Plunket, head of corporate affairs of the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), the private operator of the Mactan airport.
Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) noted the Mactan aiport’s “vastly improved services and facilities after evident upgrades were implemented by GMCAC.”
These upgrades, he said, include the replacement of worn-out interiors such as counters, lighting, and ceiling boards; reconfiguration of the check-in lobby and waiting areas; improved resort airport theme design, with abundant plant arrangement interiors; new seats and furniture for added comfort.
Other improvements are upgraded security procedures to lessen passenger queuing; construction of a greeter’s area; and installation of new equipment, such as self-service check-in kiosks.
“This is just the beginning of our modernization airports,” Abaya said in a statement on the official website of the Philippine Government.
Abaya said world-class terminals will rise in Mactan and Clark soon. A new international airport will also be opened in Panglao, Bohol, he said. Airports in other major destinations in the country, he said, will also undergo a makeover.
The Mactan airport was turned over to the GMCAC in November last year, after the DOTC and the Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) entered into a concession agreement with the consortium.
Under the agreement, the GMCAC will operate and develop the facility for 25 years.
Plunket said ranking 18th in an airport survey is “an honor we share with our grantors DOTC and MCIAA, along with the Cebuanos.”
“Together, we can achieve our goal to be one of the best airports under the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) model,” she added.
The Singapore Changi International Airport in Singapore was voted the best airport in the survey.
It was followed by Seoul Incheon International Airport in South Korea, Tokyo Haneda International Airport in Japan, Taipei Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan, Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.