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A snapshot of some of the biggest stories from across the region.

LCC market growing across the region

The LCCs continue to grow strongly and accommodated 31% of all passengers handled across Asia-Pacific in 2017 or 1.2 billion passengers, ACI Asia-Pacific’s regional director, Patti Chau, told delegates at the 10th annual ACI Airport Economics and Finance Conference & Exhibition in London.

Chau revealed that their growth had been particularly impressive in South Korea and Japan where in 2017 they handled 30.6% and 22.6% of their respective country’s international traffic compared to 8.2% and 4.8% in 2012.

She noted that both Cebu Pacific and AirAsiaX reported a 26% rise in cargo volumes in 2017, a market largely ignored to date by the LCCs. 

Green light for Melbourne Airport rail link

Melbourne Airport has welcomed the news that Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has pledged A$5 billion through a Commonwealth fund to build the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, connecting the CBD and the gateway.

Airport chief executive, Lyell Strambi, said: “A rail link can help us to realise the full potential of Melbourne Airport, injecting enormous value into the Victorian and national economies, creating and supporting jobs for the local community and putting the world within reach for millions of Victorian travellers.”

The rail link will also help reduce the strain on the Tullamarine Freeway which is one of the busiest roads in Victoria, catering to up to 210,000 vehicles a day. 


Cargo terminal gets WHO certification

Hyderabad–Rajiv Gandhi International Airport’s cargo terminal has received the World Health Organisation’s Good Storage and Distribution Practices (WHO-GSDP) certification for pharma products.

Awarded by SGS India, a leader in certifications in the pharmaceutical sector, the certificate underscores the airport’s commitment to and compliance with quality management standards and international requirements throughout the pharma supply chain.

Hyderabad Airport Cargo Terminal received this certification following a rigorous six–month long evaluation process, during which a team of SGS India auditors analysed its transportation, handling and storage processes, quality policies, facility management, equipment maintenance and security.

In 2010, Hyderabad Hyderabad-Rajiv Gandhi introduced India’s first airport-based dedicated pharmaceutical handling facility (Pharma Zone), to handle the export of pharmaceutical products. Pharma products now account for 60% of all cargo exports from the airport. 

Goa gateway to be expanded

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has pledged to invest $60 million on upgrading Goa’s Dabolim International Airport despite the ongoing construction of a new international gateway on a greenfield site in Mopa, North Goa.

AAI plans to expand Dabolim’s existing terminal, add new parking bays and a parallel taxiway to better equip the gateway for an increase in traffic and aircraft movements.

A new in-line X-ray baggage system, self-service kiosks and Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE) will also be added as part of the upgrade.

AAI insists that Dabolim, which handled around 7.5 million passengers in 2017, will remain open after the anticipated 2020 opening of the new $550 million Goa Mopa Airport, which is being built and will be operated by GMR-led GGIAL under a 40-year concession. 

French connection

A consortium spearheaded by Groupe ADP has completed the acquisition of a controlling 51% stake in Airport International Group (AIG), operator of Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan.

Groupe ADP’s investment in the transaction is around $265 million with its interests in the consortium represented by its international investment arm and 100%-owned subsidiary, ADP International (ADPI).

ADPI already held a 9.5% stake in AIG, which has held the concession to operate and develop Queen Alia International Airport since 2007.

According to Groupe ADP, the deal to take over AIG, will give it further opportunities to “spread its know-how, expertise and services” at Queen Alia International Airport.

The objectives, it says, are to reinforce the air network departing from Amman, improve the quality of service offered to passengers and the performance of aviation and retail activities, and ensure a sustainable and socially responsible development during the remaining duration of the concession, which runs until 2032.

AIG CEO, Kjeld Binger, said: “This step marks a pivotal moment in our journey with Queen Alia International Airport, as we aspire to build on the substantial success we have achieved thus far, and reach unprecedented levels of excellence and innovation in the years to come.” 


Sharjah’s expansion plans gathering pace

Sharjah International Airport has awarded Groupe ADP, through ADP Ingénierie, a contract to design and supervise the $410 million expansion of its terminal building.

ADP Ingénierie notes that it won the €15 million contract after a “very competitive tender”.

The upgrade, one of the largest ongoing airport development projects currently in the region, will involve increasing the capacity of the existing terminal from today’s 11 million passengers per annum to 17.5mppa at the same time as enhancing the passenger experience.

Gratien Maire, CEO of ADP Ingénierie, says: “This new contract rewards our know-how in airport design in a part of the world where we are very active.

“Our team of experts will be deployed in Sharjah. One of the challenges will be to maintain the airport capacity and operations at all times during the execution of the construction packages, which are expected to start in 2019.”

Groupe ADP claims to have a strong knowledge and understanding of the dynamic region having worked in it for over 40 years.


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