Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is finishing the transformation of the old terminal 1. While the new international terminal 2 sparkles, dust still swirls trough the domestic part.
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. Read more here.
Now, in fall 2019 the new international terminal 2 strikes travelers and employees with light flooded, clean and functional buildings.
Let us fly from MCIA-T2
When you arrive by car or bus, your drop-off point is on upper floor. From there you can easily walk over a covered bridge to the entrance gate. If you need assistance, let your airline know at the you book. You then will be fetched at the drop-off point.
After a short control of your ticket and passport the church-like main hall opens above you.
Check-in complies with the newest achievements in technology. Whether you drop only your luggage or do a full check-in, you will be pleased by this enormous space around you. And here comes a big thank you to the excellent staff of Silk Air. They handled our ticket problem with knowledge and courtesy.
Have a look around in Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA)
Feeling a lot lighter after check-in, you may want rise your head and follow the wooden structure with your eyes.
Yes, I know, you first saw the car to win. It gives the airport a bit of the luxury flair of Dubay or Doha. But much more interesting is the carrying wooden structure of this new terminal. The whole construction is made of European wood. The Italian (South Tyrol) company Rubner planned the building. Their factory in Austria produced all the elements and re-assembled them here on Mactan island.
More pictures of this wonderfully strong wooden structures will follow after a step back to Philippines real life.
Now you feel again the Philippines
If you are Pinoy/Pinay or have stayed longer than 1 year in the Philippines, then you have to pay the TIEZA Travel Tax. Their desk is on the extreme right hand. Looking through the windows you see the air force part of Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA). Read more about this Travel Tax.
And then everybody pays the terminal fee. Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is the most expensive airport in the Philippines. You have to shell out PHP 850.00. CASH ONLY, either in Pesos or US-Dollars.
Afterwards you pass through immigration and security check. No photos are allowed of this section.
Welcome to the Shopping Paradise
Surprisingly large shops open before your eyes. There are almost none of the well known sari-sari size stalls. It’s a real pleasure to stroll between jewels and perfumes.
Still so empty. The terminal 2 is laid out to handle 12 million passengers per year. Therefore the maybe daily 15,000 passengers today get lost in these wide spaces.
Lightweight decoration also marks the bars and restaurants.
Only the burger joint looks a bit walled. Maybe they had to do so to keep odor and flames confined. Their food and drinks have also hefty international prices.
For Philip: Just aside you get your beer for half the price. Water from vending machines is PHP 40 by 500ml bottle.
Other positive impressions in Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA)
The whole terminal building is air-conditioned. Temperature is very comfortable, neither freezing cold nor sweating hot. In the main hall the air condition equipment is well integrated in the ceiling structure. In the gate area such energy controlling cubes distribute fresh air, have high quality speakers, information displays and lots of outlets for 230 Volts and USB.
Everywhere big, easily readable signs guide the searching traveler. Also the big LCD panels work and inform you about flights and gates. Let’s follow the Smoking Room sign.
You see right! It isn’t one of those ill smelling crammed full cubicles. It is a half covered outside terrace even with living bamboo.
To get to the jet-bridges, also called passenger boarding bridge you have to get one level lower. For the buses you have even to descend two levels. But there is no stress, escalators and lifts bring you there.
Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA) T2 – a well feeling oasis
I am known to use hard words and sarcasm when it comes to Philippines terminals. But this new terminal provoked one happy smile after the other on my face. I sincerely congratulate Philippine Megawide Construction Corporation and Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure for what they have created.
And this is not yet all. When we came back from our journey abroad we had the pleasure to experience the arrival section and the almost finished domestic terminal of the same airport. I’ll write another article, next week maybe.