According to Transport Secretary, Jose Emilio Abaya, the start of the $364 million project signals the delivery of the government's requirements to investment partner, GMR-Megawide, under the terms of the PPP project.
“The obligations of government finally ends, we now turnover, fully what is required for the full development of MCIA. This has been looked forward to by the concessionaire,” noted Abaya.
“MCIA’s success best explains what PPP is all about. What we did at Mactan-Cebu we want to do at other airports. They bring in more technology, more efficient procedures and a better experience for our people and our tourists. What we have achieved in Cebu must also be achieved in those five airports.”
MCIA’s private partner GMR-Megawide announced that it has partnered with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to market the Philippines aggressively to a wider audience.
GMR-Megawide chief executive advisor, Andrew Acquaah Harrison, said that the airport will get four new, non-stop international services, from March 2016.
The new routes include a non-stop flight to Los Angeles, Dubai via Clark, Taipei via EVA Air and Xiamen, China via Xiamen Air.
According to Harrison, the idea is to turn Cebu into a regional hub connected to the rest of the world.
Aside from the projected increase in tourist arrivals, the MCIA project is creating more trade opportunities for business in areas such as concessions within the airport, food and beverage and retail.
The construction of the passenger terminal alone is expected to create 3,000 jobs during the construction period which is two years.
“We are here for the long term good and prosperity of the Filipino people. The PPP project is an advocacy. This we plan to have as a showcase to show that the Aquino Administration’s PPP project is part of its major economic program, is the way forward and is a successful way to develop infrastructure to allow greater mobility for people,” Harrison added.
GMR-Megawide said that project is scheduled to be completed in February 2018, although the consortium is actively working to deliver the terminal before the deadline.
“We will certainly not be delayed. We will showcase this as a great success for the government, the local government, government authorities and the MCIAA as authors of this PPP project,” added Harrison.