By Karl Aries Emerson F. Cabilao, UAP
AIRPORTS are touted as portals or gateways to a city or a country. Thus, these facilities should always give a great impression on the visitors aboard on aircrafts landing on its runway. From an impressive architecture that fluently speaks of the culture of its location all the way to the comfortable chairs on which passengers can sit as they wait for their flights, the airport must always be at its best.
No doubt about it, the current airport in Mactan is already outdated.
Thankfully though, unlike its counterpart in Manila, it has spared itself from the “worst airport” tag. Yet, it still badly needs improvement.
So, the much-awaited start of the new Mactan Cebu International Airport terminal’s construction has been given the green light with the recent groundbreaking ceremonies witnessed by no less than the President himself. Everyone present beamed optimism with the prospect of drawing more tourists to Cebu, more jobs for Cebuanos, and more importantly, a more convenient and pleasurable travel experience.
Barring another set of delays, the terminal is set to be completed in three years. But as we are still in the early stages of the countdown towards projected completion, Sun.Star Weekend asks its readers what new features they like the new airport terminal should have:
“It would be best if there are more seats for people waiting for their flights. There should be more terminal gates so people do not have to walk outside to get on or off the plane. And, better car parking.” — Jan Slater Young, entrepreneur
“My feelings towards airports are in the extremes. Either I want to spend as little time in it or I can spend a whole day inside. I want MCIA to be an airport that I look forward to visiting, a place where waiting is something I look forward to. An airport that offers an excellent selection of stores for shopaholics, a quiet space for the weary traveler, a play area for kids, convenient outlets for businessmen would boost the likability of MCIA. A little bit of everything to please everyone makes waiting more pleasant. This is my home airport. Here, I look forward to a great start of a journey and a warm welcome when I return.” — Allen Andre Suarez, businessman/jetsetter
“I’m excited with the thought of having a new resort-type airport in Mactan, as I have been lamenting how our airport has never improved through the years, despite the growth of the tourism industry. During travels abroad, I’ve come up with a list of features I have long dreamed for our local airport. First, is a separate departure gate per flight since three to five flights have been cramped in one gate ever since, with never enough seats for the passengers. Second, is a wider selection of restaurants and shops to pass time with since delayed flights come far too many. Third, is a tube for every disembarkation, so that no passenger has to ever walk under the heat of the sun when they arrive. Lastly, as a mother and a breastfeeding advocate, I wish they install more comfortable nursing stations in both the local and departure areas. I’m ecstatic about seeing all these wishes come alive. — Kimberley Therese Gothong, sales executive (32 Sanson by Rockwell)
“A good airport should, primarily, be planned with an excellent traffic flow of inbound and outbound passengers/flights — good circulation, good way-finding devices, space proximities programmed for convenience, PWD- friendly and equipped with ample spaces to accommodate increase in population and flexible enough for any changes plan-wise. It should also be architecturally iconic, as this is Cebu’s gateway to the world and vice versa. Lastly, it wouldn’t hurt to have a more comfortable terminal with more restaurant options with more delectable and diverse options for food and good wifi service.” — Kathrynn Dawn Sy, architect