Cebu Mactan Airport and DOT 7 Brace for Tourism Growth

Cebu Mactan airport embarking on expansion plans

Department of Tourism (DOT) 7 Director Rowena Montecillo said she is optimistic the government’s target of getting six million foreign tourists before the end of this administration will be met.

The government’s target was to reach 3.3 million foreign tourists last year and she believes this target has been met.

Montecillo noted that with the government’s thrust to adopt an open skies policy, more flights will be coming in to the country, including Cebu.

Should the government adopt an open skies policy, the Cebu Mactan International Airport is ready to accommodate more flights, general Manager Nigel Paul Villarete assured.

Villarete said the airport is completing its P178-million expansion, expected to be done by November.

”We can handle any increase of arriving and department flights,” he said.

The expansion included the addition of two more air bridges and tubes for both domestic and international terminals that are expected to quicken the movement of passengers.

Aside from this current expansion, Villarete said they will be exploring the possibility of putting up another terminal to be ready for more incoming flights.

Villarete said the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will be conducting a feasibility study for another terminal and another study for an airport master plan.

If the project pushes through, the next terminal could be built beside the international terminal.

The USD1.4-million feasibility study is scheduled to be finished by April, while the airport master plan is due in August.

Until the study is completed, Villarete could not say if the another terminal or an extension of the existing building will be built.

On average, there are 430 domestic flights and 80 International flights at the MCIA, although Villarete said the figures change constantly.

For now, he said they are on “resource generation mode” and in negotiations for funds to complete these planned projects.

According to a DOT report, foreign tourist arrivals grew by 12.81 percent from January to May 2010, compared to the year before. But the report did not provide the actual number of foreign tourists recorded. (PNA / Cebu Mactan Airport)

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