THE Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was awarded as the Asia Pacific Medium Airport of the Year by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa), a firm that specializes on information about the aviation and travel industry.

The award, based on Capa’s website, is given to the airport with “10 to 30 million annual passengers that has been the biggest standout strategically and established itself as a leader and done the most to advance the progress of the aviation industry.”

“The opening of the new international terminal follows a highly successful privatization, positioning the airport for rapid growth and making MCIA a model for other airports in the Philippines and throughout Asia as potential PPP (public private partnership) opportunities are evaluated,” MCIA Authority General Manager Steve Dicdican said in a statement.

The MCIA opened Terminal 2 (T2) last July, which boosted the airport’s annual passenger capacity from 4.5 million to 12.5 million.

“I would consider ourselves a primary destination… eventually we will overtake Manila in terms of traffic and overtake Manila as a primary airport,” Dicdican said during the Capa Summit, in a tweet by the firm’s official Twitter account.

T2 solely caters to passengers with international flights.

The facility was built by concessionaire GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), a consortium that is 60-percent owned by Filipino construction company Megawide Construction Corp. and 40 percent by Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure Ltd.

Dicdican and GMCAC chief executive advisor Andrew Harrison received the award in Singapore on Thursday, Nov. 8.

The Capa Awards for Excellence are not driven by customer surveys or sponsorship but are independently researched by an independent international panel of judges, the firm said in its website.

“Capa’s Aviation Awards for Excellence are intended to reward airlines and airports that are not only successful but have also provided industry leadership in adjusting to a new environment. At a time of industry upheaval, our winners are adopting strategies that offer new directions for others to take up,” it said.