AN AIRPORT Village. A bigger and brighter boarding area. Organized.
These can be seen by domestic passengers at the Terminal 1 of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), after it went through a major facelift.
Designed by Manila-based architectural firm Budji + Royal Design, Terminal 1 features a resort-type design complementing the overall branding of MCIA as the “world’s friendliest resort airport,” according to airport officials.
The renovation is part of the P17 billion investment made by GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) to improve the services and facilities of both Terminals 1 and 2 at the MCIA.
In an interview in December 2018, GMCAC president Louie Ferrer said a renovated Terminal 1 could accommodate up to 11 million passengers every year from eight million per year.
Along with the 4.1 million passengers being accommodated by Terminal 2, the two terminals at MCIA could now accommodate 15.1 million passengers a year.
The renovated Terminal 1 is now a clean and well-lighted place, and it has no more several closed doors. Its pre-departure area has two floors; it houses a couple of restaurants, cafes and “pasalubong” boutiques.
On both ends of the first floor in the pre-departure area are the entrances to the north wing and south wing check-in counters.
Passengers can find the Airport Village on the second floor, where they can talk with their loved ones before they leave Cebu. Relatives can also wait for the arriving family members in the area.
Twins to the terminal’s renovation are the improved facilities and technology, which includes the Automatic Tray Return System (ATRS) at the boarding gates.
GMCAC chief operations advisor Michael Lenane said the ATRS is a type of passenger screening machine that automatically feeds and keeps trays. Gone are the days where passengers had to manually pick up a tray and return it to the stack.
To be renovated in the first quarter of 2020 are Gates 3-8.
However, inside the Gates 9, 10, 11 and 26 are sights to behold as these have become bigger and brighter areas. There are new restaurants and a baby care room for mothers nursing their babies.
Last August, the airport was awarded by the Philippine Pediatric Society as the “Breastfeeding Friendly Public Place” during the seventh Breastfeeding Congress and the first Asia-Pacific Breastfeeding Conference held in a hotel in Metro Manila.
The baby care room has four cubicles for mothers to freely breastfeed their children. It also has a microwave, refrigerator and a monitor that flashes all departing flights.
For privilege card holders, or for people who want to splurge while waiting for their flights to come around, the Plaza Premium Lounge is now available at Terminal 1. Available in over 60 countries, the Plaza Premium Lounge allows travelers to stay in and relax for two hours. Passengers may eat, charge gadgets, sleep and shower, among others, for P1,560.
In the arrival section of the airport, the baggage claims area is now spacious and well lit. Carts are parked on the conveyor belt for the passengers’ convenience.
The exit leads back to the Airport Village where passengers can meet their loved ones, or directly follow the path towards the Transportation Hub—the area designated for buses, taxis and private and rental cars.
By ROMAYNE DANIELLE RIVERA