Philippines starts building world’s first resort airport

Photo via Megawide-GMR Facebook page

Photo via Megawide-GMR Facebook page

By Louis Bacani/philstar.com – President Benigno Aquino III on Monday led the groundbreaking ceremony for the “world’s first resort airport” in Cebu.

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) said the project covers the construction of a new world-class international passenger terminal building at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and the renovation of the existing terminal and its conversion into an exclusively domestic facility.

The project is envisioned by concessionaire GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) to be regarded as the first resort airport in the world.

The DOTC said the construction of the new terminal will be completed by 2018 while the renovation of the existing terminal is slated to be finished in 2019.

DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya said the project is “touted to be the start of Philippine airports matching the best in the world.”

“It will not only cement our place on the global map as a major tourist and business destination, it will boost the local economy and is projected to generate jobs especially in Cebu,” Abaya said.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the project aims to increase the airport’s annual passenger capacity from 4.5 million to 15 million.

“Improvements such as these help to stimulate our economy and boost our country’s reputation as a tourist and business destination,” Lacierda said.

The project is the first airport public-private partnership (PPP) undertaking of the Aquino administration.

In 2014, GMCAC won the auction for the 25-year PPP contract after offering the government a premium bid of P14.4 billion. Operations and maintenance of the airport was turned over to the consortium last November.

GMCAC has started implementing “soft improvements” to the existing terminal or those improvements which did not require major civil works to enhance passenger experience at the gateway.

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