Airport News. September, 2010

Emma Kelly reports

1st Sep 2010

Malaysia Airports expands international portfolio

A consortium of Malaysia Airports Holdings (MAHB) and Indian infrastructure group GMR has won the contract to build, operate, modernise and expand Male International Airport (MIA) in the Maldives.

GMR-MAHB beat competing bids from a French-Turkish consortium, including Aeroports de Paris, and a partnership of Zurich Airport and GVK. MIA, situated on Huhule Island, is the main airport for the Maldives, and includes a seaplane port. GMR-MAHB has won a 25-year concession to operate the airport.

The facility becomes MAHB’s fourth airport outside of Malaysia, alongside Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen International Airport. The company manages 39 airports in Malaysia.

In moves to further expand the company’s international operations, MAHB subsidiary MACS has signed a memorandum of understanding with investment group Nagamas International to establish a joint venture providing airport operations, management and consultancy services to China’s Yongzhou Lingling Airport and other airports in China.

Nagamas has signed a preliminary agreement with Yongzhou City People’s Government for the Yongzhou International Multi-Trade Project, which includes management of the airport.

Meanwhile, MAHB has appointed UEMC-Bina Puri as the main contractor for Kuala Lumpur International Airport’s low-cost carrier terminal and plans a note offering to finance the project, which is due to be completed in 2012.

New Delhi T3 opening hit by problems

Power and water supply problems have marred the opening of the new Terminal 3 of New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.

International flights have transferred to the new facility as of the end of July. However, domestic services will not operate from the terminal until the end of September at the earliest, as a result of the problems.

The terminal was inaugurated on 3 July, followed by successful route-proving flights in mid-month, with the first flights performed by an Air India Boeing 777 and an Emirates Airbus A380. International operations successfully transferred from Terminal 2 to 3 on 28 July.

Domestic services were supposed to follow at the end of August, but an erratic power supply affecting the terminal’s baggage-handling and security equipment forced the postponement, the Civil Aviation Ministry says.

A new electricity sub-station is not due to come on line until mid-September. Furthermore, road connections have not been completed and a new metro line is not ready. The situation will be reviewed in mid-September, the ministry says.

Terminal 3 is an integrated passenger terminal complex capable of handling 37 million passengers a year. It is the country’s largest airport terminal and is set to cater for substantial traffic growth due to the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in October.

Asian traffic drives Melbourne’s growth

[Pic: AirAsiaX.jpg. Caption: AirAsia X doubled its daily service between Kuala Lumpur and Melbourne in July. (Credit: Airbus)]

Passenger traffic at Australia’s Melbourne Airport is booming, thanks largely to rising Asian traffic. The airport in the state of Victoria experienced 6 percent growth in passenger numbers in the full business year 2009/10, to 26.3 million, including 10 percent growth in the final quarter.

The growth was thanks to a 13 percent rise in international traffic, with the key growth markets being Indonesia (up 36 percent) along with Malaysia (26 percent), China (14 percent) and India (10 percent). Domestic traffic for the year grew by 1 million passengers, or 4 percent.

The new financial year has also started well for the airport, with a record traffic month in July – 13.4 percent up on the same month a year earlier. The number of Chinese passengers was up 45 percent, with a 77 percent increase in Japanese travellers and 30 percent more passengers from Indonesia. Malaysian passenger numbers rose 29 percent and 39 percent more travellers from Singapore passed through Melbourne, the airport says.

July saw a number of carriers increase their Asian operations to and from the airport, with AirAsia X doubling its daily services to Kuala Lumpur, for example. Asian connections are set to grow further, with Air India adding daily services to Delhi in November; Jetstar planning daily services to Singapore from December; and China Southern Airlines and Air China set to increase their Melbourne services in November.


HANJIN GROUP, parent of Korean Air, has opened a new cargo terminal at Uzbekistan’s Navoi International Airport, which the group manages in conjunction with the Uzbekistan Government. The terminal is capable of handling 100,000t of cargo per annum, with plans to increase this to 500,000t. The terminal is based on Korean Air’s cargo terminals at Korea’s Incheon International Airport.

AIRSERVICES AUSTRALIA has started work on a new A$16.9 million (US$15 million) air traffic control (ATC) tower for Adelaide Airport. The tower is set to be one of the first in the country equipped with the latest-generation electronic ATC technology. It will feature customisable touch screens to provide information to controllers, with the display system integrating flight and operational data, surveillance and voice communications. The tower is expected to be completed by late 2011, to be followed by a three-month commissioning period.

Asian Aviation at a glance