GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), the private developer of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), assures its stakeholders that all airport operations are continuing as normal despite the recent declaration of a state of emergency (SOE) within MCIA.
“The SOE has had no impact on the current state of operations at any of the two terminals at MCIA. With the exception of the temporary travel ban for foreign nationals originating from China, Hong Kong and Macau, there are no additional requirements for passengers, airlines or stakeholders at the airport,” said Andrew Harrison, GMCAC Chief Executive Advisor.
State of Emergency
On February 03, 2020, Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) General Manager Steve Dicdican declared a state of emergency within the MCIA as a means to ensure that the airport will have the needed facilities for affected stakeholders, particularly travelers.
According to Dicdican, the presidential order clearly directed all heads of government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC) such as the MCIAA, to undertake the necessary measures for the establishment of repatriation and quarantine facilities.
“MCIA is the main gateway to Visayas and Mindanao and we want to ensure that we are prepared for any eventuality,” said Dicdican. “The purpose of the declaration of the SOE is to ensure the appropriate legal framework is in place should the need arise for MCIAA to take over facilities, such as aircraft hangars, to accommodate quarantined passengers. This is also to invoke police powers and proceed with emergency procurement if the current health crisis escalates,” he added.
Harrison clarified that should the MCIAA implement the powers available to it under the SOE, there will be no major changes to airport operations. “There may, however, be procedural changes in line with government health directives enforced at the time, given that the situation related to the control and detection of the novel coronavirus is fluid and is constantly being monitored,” Harrison said.
New precautionary measures
To align with the overall enforcement of the executive order of the Office of the Governor of Cebu to control the potential spread and transmission of the novel coronavirus, additional precautionary measures were put in place by the Mactan-Cebu International Airport community. These are in addition to the existing precautionary measures that have already been put in place at MCIA. These measures include the following:
1. Mandatory health declaration cards for all international flights
All passengers arriving via international flights in Mactan-Cebu International Airport are required to fill-out a health declaration card provided by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ). All airlines have been advised to make a standard in-flight announcement prior to landing at MCIA advising passengers to fill-out the mandatory health declaration cards by the BOQ.
The health declaration cards are MCIA’s first line of defense to determine whether a passenger has travelled to China and/or its special administrative regions (SAR) within the last fourteen days. It will be thoroughly reviewed by the BOQ which will also be counter-checked by the Bureau of Immigration (BI).
2. Denied entry for foreign passengers from China and SAR
In compliance with the temporary travel ban implemented by the national government, MCIA has implemented a restriction on the entry of foreign nationals arriving from China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Likewise, foreign passengers who have travelled to China and its SAR within the last fourteen days will also be denied entry to MCIA.
Filipino passengers are also restricted from traveling to China, Hong Kong, and Macau until the government lifts the temporary travel ban.
3. Quarantine assessment for Filipino passengers and with PRS arriving from China and SAR
Filipino passengers or holders of a permanent residency visa (PRV) arriving from China and SAR and passengers who have travelled to China and SAR within the last fourteen days will be brought to a designated holding area at MCIA Terminal 2 (T2) where they will be assessed for quarantine by the BOQ. Only members of the Quarantine team are allowed access to the holding area.
Through the assessment, the BOQ will determine whether a passenger will be subjected for quarantine in designated facilities or for home quarantine.
GMCAC and MCIAA, together with the Bureaus of Immigration and Quarantine, are working to ensure that all airlines operating direct international flights into Cebu from China, Hong Kong, and Macau are aware of the new protocols and take appropriate action to minimize disruption to its inbound and outbound flights. ###