Home' Asian Aviation : AAV_March_2013 Contents AsianAviation | MARCH 2013 23
Passenger traffic in the Asia-Pacific
continued its upward climb last year with
the region recording a 5.2% growth,
according to the latest statistics released
by the International Air Transport Association.
Although a slower rate of growth than experienced
in years gone by, the growth was up on 2011's 4%
and is a sign of things to come, with a revival in the
Chinese market in particular looking promising.
As a result of continued optimism in the Asia-
Pacific and an expectation that demand for air travel
will not subside, airports throughout the region are
in the middle of or planning upgrades, new terminals,
runways and facilities to cater for the region's
China is continuing to plan and build new airports
and upgrade existing ones in an effort to keep pace
with the world's fastest-growing air traffic market.
Last year, the Civil Aviation Administration of China
(CAAC) announced plans to build another 82 new
airports and expand more than 100 existing airports
through to 2015. The aim is to develop a national
airport network covering the country by 2020, with
about 80% of the country's population to be within
100km of an airport. China already has 182 airports.
Developments are planned across the country.
Qinghai in the north, for example, has immediate
plans to expand its existing two airports and build
a further six within four years. Xinjiang in the north
west plans a further four airports, while in western
China, in Chongqing, two new airports are on the
The biggest airport development is planned for
Beijing, with Beijing Capital International Airport
already reaching capacity just four years after the
construction of its Terminal 3. Passenger throughput
in 2012 reached 81.8 million -- up 4.2% on the
previous year -- with 557,000 flights handled,
according to Beijing Capital International Airport.
Some 94 airlines serve the airport, connecting 54
Approval has been given for another new airport in
Beijing, due for completion in 2018. The airport would
have an annual capacity of 70 million passengers by
2025, according to local reports.
This year will also see the start of work on a
second Chengdu Airport, with opening planned for
2017. The airport will have an annual capacity of 80
million passengers and 850,000 aircraft movements
which would make it the biggest in the country's west
and China's fourth largest international airport.
One of the most significant airport projects for the
region in the years ahead is the third runway planned
for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). Last
year, HKIA handled 56.5 million passengers and
352,000 aircraft movements -- up 4.7% and 5.3%,
respectively, setting new annual records. Cargo
traffic, which has slumped worldwide, rose 2.2%
during the year to 4 million tonnes thanks to a strong
rebound in the last five months of the year.
During the year, the airport added nine new
airlines, expanding the global network to 170
destinations. And prospects look good. "Whilst
the financial woes in the Eurozone will probably
continue and the weak market conditions in the
US remain for some time, gross domestic product
growth forecasts for the Chinese Mainland and
South East Asia are 8.1% and 5.2%, respectively,
much higher than most other parts of the world,"
says Stanley Hui Hon-chung, chief executive officer
of Airport Authority Hong Kong.
The practical maximum runway capacity of the
existing two-runway system is about 420,000 flight
movements annually, which the airport expects to
reach between 2019 and 2022.
Three runways would allow the airport to handle
620,000 flight movements per year which would
meet demand projections up to and even beyond
2030. The third runway would be located north and
parallel to the existing two runways. The project
has been divided into three phases -- planning,
approval and implementation -- with the entire
project estimated to take about 11 years before
commissioning in 2023.
PLAN FOR GROWTH
From Korea and China in the north to Australia and New Zealand in the south,
airports throughout the region are preparing for the future. Emma Kelly takes
a look at some of the projects ongoing and planned.
"GDP growth forecasts are much higher than most other parts of the world,"
says Airport Authority Hong Kong.
Since 2007, Brisbane Airport has spent A$4.2 billion on major infrastructure development.
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