The second largest airport in the Philippines, Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is known as the ‘Gateway to Cebu’, a resort island famous for its natural beauty, friendly people and generous hospitality.

Airport Planning for Growth

Cebu Airport is redeveloping to cope with a significant growth in passenger traffic. The first phase will provide 11 contact stands and 17 remote stands, with future phasing to include 20 more contact stands.

Central to the plan is a new 3-storey 65,500m² Terminal 2 building featuring an arched timber roof. The project incorporates a major refresh of the existing Terminal 1, reconstruction of the apron and four taxiways, and the wholesale upgrade and expansion of landside facilities and the surrounding road network.

Arup provided multidisciplinary services including aviation planning, airfield engineering design, transport planning, and bridges, civil, electrical, façade, fire, highways, mechanical, and structural engineering.

An airport built for the present and designed for the future

From the use of structural timber for the large span roof, to the rattan furniture and fittings that showcase Cebu’s local art and crafts, the terminal exudes an elegance and warmth unlike other international airports.

A modular design to enable future expansion means that the airport will be able to handle 15.8 million passengers per year in Phase 1 and 28.3 million passengers in Phase 2.

A roofline of form and function

The undulations of the roof are an echo of the sea and waves around Mactan Island. Taking a cue from the architecture of the tropics, the high roof and low eaves protect and control the internal environment, carefully balancing light and heat.

Building better with BIM

Using Building Information Modelling (BIM) to deliver the new terminal enabled us to create an incredibly well-resolved design that was easy to construct.

Reimagining BIM allowed us to spend less time on the process and more on the actual design. This approach allowed us to serve clients, users and the local community more efficiently, keeping costs to a minimum to deliver a nationally important project under intense time pressure.

From streamlined reporting systems to controlled workshops, our team delivered a world-class facility from multiple offices to a limited budget. Working in a BIM-lite environment we developed smart automated workflows and parametric modelling to deliver an accelerated construction schedule, with our team focused specifically on timely decision making and resolving complicated geometric configurations within the 3D environment ahead of procurement and installation.

This intelligent implementation of BIM allowed for quick, efficient testing of the relationships between competing requirements, applying varied weighting to airfield apron topography, terminal floor heights, and road network demands. One example of the smart use of BIM was to identify the height limitation of the terminal building by assessing line of sight from the Control Tower using a 3D BIM model of the virtual airport.