Singapore’s Changi Airport has strengthened its position as a major global air hub, handling a record 40 million passengers during 2010. The total surpasses the airport’s previous high of 37.7 million passenger movements registered in 2008.
Only six other airports in the world handle more than 40 million international passenger movements annually. The record follows a dip in traffic in 2009, to 37.2 million, due to the global economic downturn.
Between January and November 2010, the airport handled 38 million passengers – up 13.8 percent on 2009 and higher than the total for the whole of 2008. Changi says growth for the year was driven by traffic to and from south-east and north-east Asia. Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Hong Kong and Shanghai all registered more than half a million passenger movements, with double-digit percentage growth.
Both full-service and low-cost carriers have reported higher passenger numbers at the airport during the year. Full-service carriers registered an 8.8 percent increase in passengers carried, while low-cost carriers continued their growth, carrying 35.3 percent more passengers than the previous year. Low-cost carriers carried 22.3 percent of passengers at the airport during the year and accounted for 26.2 percent of the facility’s aircraft movements.
Some 98 airlines currently operate 5,200 weekly scheduled flights to and from Singapore and more than 200 cities in 60 countries and territories.
Perth Airport in Western Australia is due to undergo major redevelopment over the next three years after owner and operator Westralia Airports approved a A$500 million (US494 million) programme to upgrade and expand passenger terminals, aircraft parking areas and public-access infrastructure.
The redevelopment is a necessity at the airport which experienced a passenger growth rate of 7.5 percent in the financial year 2009-2010 rising to a record 10.4 million passenger movements.
The project, which follows 18 months of consultations with the airport’s airline customers, will involve a phased transition to a consolidated airport precinct over the next decade.
The first stage will start in early 2011 and will include significant expansion of the international terminal, including the addition of handling capabilities for the Airbus A380, the world’s largest jetliner. Also included is: the addition of a shared domestic/international pier to the current international terminal; a new terminal for the growing Western Australian regional market; expanded aircraft parking and taxiways and further investment in roads and car parks, including better access to and from the airport.
The redevelopment is expected to provide enough capacity for the next eight to 10 years, after which more consolidation will take place, says the airport.
The Australian Government started testing new technology to detect explosives in liquids, aerosols and gels at Melbourne and Sydney airports in late 2010.
Two new, multi-view explosive detection x-ray machines and a number of bottled-liquid scanners that use a range of technologies to detect explosive substances were tested. The trial is intended to contribute to international efforts to remove liquid restrictions on international flights.
“These trials are an important step toward the roll out of these technologies in Australia’s international airports in the future,” says Paul Retter, executive director of the Office of Transport Security. The trial is part of the government’s A$200 million (US$197 million) Strengthening Aviation Security initiative.
MALAYSIA’S PENANG Airport is undergoing a 250 million ringgit (US$81 million) upgrade and expansion. The work, due for completion by June 2012, will include upgrading airport infrastructure, the terminal building and airside facilities. The work will increase passenger capacity at the airport to 5 million annually from the current 3.5 million. The airport handled 3.31 million passengers in 2009 and by November 2010 it had handled 3.71 million passengers for the year so far.
SYDNEY AIRPORT welcomed a new Chinese operator, Hainan Airlines, on 19 January. The carrier will now operate three, weekly Airbus A330 services linking the Australian airport to Shenzhen and Hangzhou. Sydney now hosts five Chinese carriers: Hainan Airlines, Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines and Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways.
AN INCIDENT involving a Finnair Airbus A340-300 at Hong Kong airport in November 2010, when the crew attempted to take off from a taxiway, has resulted in procedural changes at the airport. The aircraft was attempting to take off from taxiway A, which is between the runway and taxiway B, but controllers instructed the aircraft to stop. While the investigation into the incident is ongoing, controllers are required to withhold take-off clearance on the runway until they have confirmed the aircraft has crossed the taxiway, says the Civil Aviation Department.
THE AUSTRALIAN Government has approved the new master plan for Darwin International Airport. The plan, details of which are yet to be released, will include the redevelopment of the passenger terminal to allow the airport to handle a projected 4 million passengers by 2030, up from 1.5 million in 2009. Meanwhile, Australia is implementing major reforms to airport planning, designed to empower local communities and improve transparency surrounding long-term development plans at the country’s major airports.