Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Mactan–Cebu International Airport (Cebuano: Tugpahanang Pangkalibutan sa Mactan–Sugbo, Filipino: Paliparang Pandaigdig ng Mactan–Cebu) (IATA: CEB, ICAO: RPVM) located in Central Visayas region, is the second busiest airport of the Philippines. It is located in Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island, part of Metro Cebu. The airport is managed by the Mactan–Cebu International Airport Authority. It covers an area of 797 hectares (1,970 acres).
It has a single 3,300-meter (10,800 ft) runway that was built by the United States in 1956 as an emergency airport for Strategic Air Command bombers and was known as the Mactan Air Base. The runway is complemented by a full-length taxiway that it shares with the current Mactan Air Base of the Philippine Air Force.
Mactan–Cebu International Airport was chosen as the most viable location for the world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, to safely land when considering the combination of onward land transportation, sea freight, and airport capacity. The arrival of the aircraft in the airport marked the very first time that the aircraft landed in the Philippines.
The runway was built by the United States Air Force in 1956 as an emergency airport for Strategic Air Command bombers and it was known as the Mactan Air Base. It remained a spartan outpost until the Vietnam War in the 1960s when it became a base for a C-130 unit of the U.S. Air Force.
In the mid-1960s, the civilian airport was opened, to replace the Lahug Airport (now the site of Cebu IT Park), which could no longer be expanded due to safety and physical problems. The airport was later expanded to the current Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
On August 20, 2008, the Mactan–Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) announced that about 300 million Philippine pesos will be spent for the terminal expansion program to address the increasing volume of passenger traffic. MCIAA former general manager Danilo Augusto Francia said the program also includes the establishment of a second passenger terminal in the Mactan–Cebu International Airport. In 2009, former general manager Francia announced for the public bidding for the construction of the new generation terminal to service only international flight.
In 2010, the newly elected Philippine President, Benigno Aquino III selected Nigel Paul Villarete as the new General Manager of the Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCIAA. Mr. Villarete prioritized the completion of the terminal expansion and the completion of the unfinished administration building.
A Boeing 777F operated by Emirates SkyCargo at the airport with relief goods for Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda donated by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.
Air Asia Zest A320
Following Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), one of the biggest typhoons ever recorded and one of the most destructive typhoons in the Philippines, the airport was used as a center for air operations for the relief effort. The airport is centrally located in the Visayas which was the region most affected by the storm, especially the Eastern Visayas islands of Leyte and Samar. The Cebu airport was relatively unaffected by the storm while the airports of the Eastern Visayas were unusable immediately after.
On November 12, 2013, the world’s longest and heaviest aircraft, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, landed at MCIA from the Zagreb International Airport in Croatia for the first time in the Philippines to deliver a 180-ton replacement transformer from the Croatian energy company KONČAR to the First Gen Corporation’s power plant in Batangas City. Officials of First Gen approached MCIAA General Manager Nigel Paul Villarete to allow the Antonov An-225 to utilize the airport for the transportation of their delivery after officials from Clark International Airport, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, and Subic Bay International Airport refused to allow the aircraft to utilize their airports. According to First Gen President Francis Giles Puno, MCIA had been inspected by Antonov Airlines, the owner of the Antonov An-225 aircraft, as the most viable option for their aircraft, “after considering the combination of airport, onward land transport and sea freight.”
On April 23, 2014, the Department of Transportation and Communications awarded the operations and maintenance of MCIA to a consortium of the Philippine Megawide Construction Corporation and Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure. The consortium won with a bid of 17.5 billion Philippine pesos. MCIAA will turn over to the private consortium the operations and maintenance of the airport starting October 2014. The new terminal building to be designed by Integrated Design Associates Ltd. (IDA) is expected to be completed by 2018.