Mactan-Cebu International Airport

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To read this article in Filipino, see Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2.

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is the second busiest international airport in the Philippines. It is located in the city of Lapu-Lapu on Mactan, a part of Metro Cebu in the province of Cebu and serves the Central Visayas region. The airport is managed by the Mactan–Cebu International Airport Authority and is assigned the IATA code: CEB.

On 797 hectares (1,970 acres), it has a single 3,300-meter (10,800 ft) runway that was built by the United States in 1956 as an emergency airport for U.S. Air Forces' Strategic Air Command bombers and was known as Mactan Air Base. The runway is complemented by a full-length taxiway that it shares with the current Mactan Air Base of the Philippine Air Force.


The runway was built by the United States Air Force in 1956 as an emergency airport for Strategic Air Command bombers and it was known as the Mactan Air Base. It remained a spartan outpost until the Vietnam War in the 1960s when it became a base for a C-130 unit of the U.S. Air Force.

In the mid-1960s, the civilian airport was opened, to replace the now closed Lahug Airport (now the site of Cebu IT Park), which could no longer be expanded due to safety and physical problems. The airport was later expanded to the current Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA). On 20 August 2008, the Mactan–Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) announced that about 300 million Philippine pesos will be spent for the terminal expansion program to address the increasing volume of passenger traffic. MCIAA former general manager Danilo Augusto Francia said the program also includes the establishment of a second passenger terminal in the Mactan–Cebu International Airport.

In 2009, former general manager Francia announced for the public bidding for the construction of the new generation terminal to service only international flights. In 2010, the newly elected Philippine President, Benigno Aquino III selected Nigel Paul Villarete as the new General Manager of the Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MCIAA. Mr. Villarete prioritized the completion of the terminal expansion and the completion of the unfinished administration building.

Following Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), one of the biggest typhoons ever recorded and one of the most destructive typhoons in the Philippines, the airport was used as a center for air operations for the relief effort. The airport is centrally located in the Visayas which was the region most affected by the storm, especially the Eastern Visayas islands of Leyte and Samar. The Cebu airport was relatively unaffected by the storm while the airports of the Eastern Visayas were unusable immediately after.

On 23 April 2014, the Department of Transportation and Communications awarded the operations and maintenance of MCIA to a consortium of the Philippine Megawide Construction Corporation and Bangalore-based GMR Infrastructure. The consortium won with a bid of ₱17.5 billion. MCIAA handed over the operations and maintenance of the airport to the private consortium on 1 November 2014. In the first half of 2016, MCIA and GMCAC started the rehabilitation, renovation and expansion of Terminal 1 as Phase 1 of the project. The new terminal building was designed by Integrated Design Associates Ltd. (IDA) On January 25, 2018, GMR–Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison announced that the new terminal building would be the MCIA Terminal 2 will start operations on 1 July 2018 and cater to international flights.

On 29 July 2015, President Benigno Aquino III led the ground-breaking rites at the site of the old Philippine Air Force base in Lapu-Lapu City which had been demolished to pave way for the Terminal 2 construction.

On 7 June 2018, Terminal 2 was inaugurated by President Rodrigo Duterte. On 27 August 2018, which is also National Heroes Day in the Philippines, President Duterte expressed support for renaming the airport after Mactan chieftain Lapu-Lapu whose forces killed Ferdinand Magellan during the Battle of Mactan in 1521.

On May 5, 2021, the second taxiway of the airport and the new Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines building were inaugurated. Meanwhile, the MCIAA Corporate Building, which is still under construction, is set to be inaugurated on July 31, 2021.

In 2020, the second runway of the airport will begin its construction so that planes could land at the airport simultaneously.


Terminal 1 (Domestic)

Terminal 1, which was built in 1990, serves as the airport's domestic terminal. Prior to the completion and opening of Terminal 2, it housed both domestic and international operations and has an annual capacity of 4.5 million passengers. By the end of 2017, it served more than 10 million passengers.

The terminal has six boarding bridges and also has remote parking spaces for aircraft.

Terminal 2 (International)

Terminal 2, which started construction in 2016 and opened for operations on July 1, 2018, is the newest airport terminal and has increased the capacity of the airport to 12.5 million passengers per year. It currently handles all international flights. The design of the terminal has timber arches that look like an inverted boat hull, and a wave-like roof that evokes a tropical and resort-like feel. It represents the sea waves that surrounds the island of Cebu. The international terminal won an award for the category "Completed Buildings – Transport" at the World Architecture Festival in 2019. The new terminal building has five boarding bridges, two of which are expandable, thus making a total of seven boarding bridges.




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