Dienstag, 19. Mai 2009

More on Airports: Too much of a good thing...?

I recently wrote about the - in my view - unnecessary expansion of Frankfurt Airport. Here's some international perspective:

According to this BBC news report, Korea hast lots of "ghost airports", i.e. shiny new international airports that see hardly any passengers. Two examples:

- Yangyang International Airport was built 7 years ago at a cost of 400 m $ and can handle 3 million passengers per year. In 2008, only 9,500 passengers actually used the airport. From November 2008, commercial flights have been stopped altogether.

- Muan International Airport opened 2 years ago, and now operates at 3 % of capacity, handling 2 outgoing flights per day.

(According to the article, Korea has 14 major airports, 11 of which are losing money. Construction of a 15th was recently suspended shortly before completion due to lack of immediate demand. And a 16th airport is in the planning stage.)

I also recently wrote about China's increasing demand for planes.

Well, not only planes, apparently: According to this news report, China is going on an airport construction frenzy. Two examples:

- Chongqing wants to expand airport capacity from the current 10 million passengers to 60 million. (To achieve this, they want to spend 20 bn RMB, and build three additional runways. I assume the airport has one runway right now)

For comparison: China's biggest airport (Beijing Capital Airport) handled only 56 million passengers last year.

- Talking about Beijing: Next year, construction will start on a second Beijing International Airport. Why? Well, Beijing Capital Airport only has a capacity of 78 million passengers, and the second airport will add another 60 million. That's a total passenger capacity of 138 million. For Beijing alone.

For comparison: New York's airports (JFK, La Guardia and Newark) handled 109 million passengers in 2007. New York's metro population is larger than Beijing's. Hmmmm.

Kommentare:

  1. Beijing's terminals have seemed sometimes hauntingly empty during the times I've been there - especially the one seperated from the main hub by a bus ride.

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  2. A backwater like Chongqing wants an airport bigger than JFK? That's simply ridiculous!

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