Home' Asian Aviation : AAV July-August 2017 Contents 24 AsianAviation | July/August 2017
over that year, in part because of outbound tourism.
Asia also boasts some of the world’s fastest-growing airports, par-
ticularly in India and secondary Chinese cities, aviation analysts say.
“ The list of fastest growing airports is dominated, not surprisingly,
by a mix of Chinese and Indian cities,” said John Grant, senior analyst
with air travel intelligence company OAG.
“ The last year has seen a very strong recovery in the Indian do-
mestic market with lots of new services launched and expansion of
low-cost services to international markets,” Grant said. In China, he
said, “the fastest levels of growth are being seen at the secondary
airports in the country and not the ‘big three’ markets of Beijing,
Shanghai and Guangzhou. There is a clear drive among the regional
authorities to build their connectivity to international markets.”
But Indian airports were growing faster than anywhere else in Asia
late last year, due to “robust domestic passenger travels,” the airport
council says. In December, it found, Chennai logged a 49.9 increase
in passengers, Calcutta posted 31.9 more and Bangalore saw an
additional 22.2 percent.
The Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in the Hyderabad grew
by the biggest margin in India with a 69 percent capacity increase
from 2010 to 2105, the aviation data exchange platform Routesonline.
com says. The airport in Chennai added 50 percent to its passenger
traffic in the year ending in December and Calcutta added 32, the
airport council said.
In China, the fastest-growing terminals were in the southwestern
city Kunming, where traffic rose 15.6 percent in December 2016 over
the same month a year earlier, Guangzhou up 12.9 percent and the
Chengdu, according to council data. It cites a “solid increase” in
international and domestic travel.
Airport authorities around China are in a frenzy to build new ter-
minals or expand old ones. Today ’s total of 220 airports will reach
260 by 2020 for an expected 1.5 billion passengers, per a forecast
quoted on the official China Daily news website.
China’s airports, often clumped together as in the Pearl River
Delta that runs from Guangzhou to Hong Kong, are vying with one
another to attract domestic travellers and in some cases to position
themselves as Asian transit hubs, industry analysts say. To do that,
airports compete on use of technology to cut wait times at airports,
improving land or sea links and designating separate terminals for
low-cost carriers and their passengers, Wong said.
“Competition is increasingly strong among airports,” Wong said.
“ There is also the issue of capacity constraints at some airports,
limiting their opportunity to add new flights and traffic. Governments
and private investors are keen on expanding airport infrastructure
to meet traffic demand.”
Hong Kong International Airport has spent more than HK$30
billion (US$3.85 billion) on facilities such as two new concourses
and an apron expansion.
The airport that works with 100 airlines handled 70.5 million pas-
sengers last year, up 2.9 percent over 2015, its media office said. It
cites as reasons an increase in travel by Hong Kong residents, es-
pecially to Japan and Europe, as well as Hong Kong’s long-standing
role as a world trade centre.
Capacity issues have become glaring at the Beijing Capital Interna-
tional Airport and at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Both cit-
ies are expanding capacity to handle aircraft. But it’s unclear whether
China’s crowded, military-controlled airspace can accommodate new
flights and whether less recognised airlines can get the additional
slots against applications from the major state-owned carriers.
“More airport capacity is planned in Beijing and Shanghai but
two major details are unclear,” said Will Horton, senior analyst with
the CAPA Centre for Aviation market research organisation in Hong
Kong. “First is how much of the design capacity can be utilised
owing to airspace availability. Second is how the available capacity
will be allocated.
In Southeast Asia, only Singapore and Bangkok took spots on
Airports Council International’s top 20 list. Singapore Changi Air-
port, ranked 17th busiest in the world with 58.7 million passengers,
scored separately as the world’s best by the aviation legal services
provider AirHelp based on punctuality, quality and passenger
sentiment. Bangkok ranked the 20th busiest with 55.9 billion pas-
sengers. Both grew close to 6 percent.
TOTAL PASSENGER TRAFFIC
AIRPORT CITY /
COUNTRY / CODE
Atlanta Ga, US (ATL)
104 171 935
Beijing, CN (PEK)
94 393 454
Dubai, AE (DXB)
83 654 250
Los Angeles Ca, US (LAX)
Tokyo, JP (HND)
79 699 762
Chicago Il, US (ORD)
77 960 588
London, GB (LHR)
75 715 474
Hongkong, HK (HKG)
70 305 857
Shanghai, CN (PVG)
66 002 414
Paris, FR (CDG)
65 933 145
Dallas/Fort Worth Tx, US (DFW) 65 670 697
Amsterdam, NL (AMS)
63 625 534
Frankfurt, DE (FRA)
60 786 937
Istanbul, TR (1ST)
60 119 876
Guangzhou, CN (CAN)
59 732 147
New York NY, US (JFK)
58 873 386
Singapore, SG (SIN)
58 698 000
Denver Co, US(DEN)
58 266 515
Incheon, KR (ICN)
57 849 814
Bangkok, TH (BKK)
55 892 428
TOP 20 FOR 2016
1 398 273 740
Source: Airports Council International
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