ASIA-PACIFIC REGIONAL NEWS
A snapshot of some of the biggest stories from across the region.
Incheon’s new Terminal 2 opens for business
Incheon International Airport’s new, high-tech Terminal 2 opened for business on January 18, just in time to handle athletes and visitors headed to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
The 72-gate terminal is the airport’s first major expansion project in 17 years and boasts a number of ‘smart technology’ features such as 62 self-check-in desks, self-bag drop and facial recognition systems that allow automated immigration processing.
Initially equipped to handle 18 million passengers per annum, the 7.3 million square foot complex has its own airside hotel, sense-of-place art work and other features showcasing South Korean culture.
It currently serves four airlines – SkyTeam Alliance members Korean Air, Delta, Air France and KLM..
Sunshine Coast Airport demonstrates ‘green’ credentials
Sunshine Coast Airport has renewed its Level 3+ Neutrality status in ACI’s Airport Carbon Accreditation programme to ensure it remains one of Australia’s ‘greenest’ gateways.
“Recognising the importance of sustainable practices, Sunshine Coast Airport was one of the very first Australian airports to join the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme in 2012, and we are delighted by the number of Australian airports now participating in the programme,” notes airport CEO, Peter Pallot.
“By adopting an innovative and holistic approach to reducing our carbon footprint we were able to achieve carbon neutrality status in March 2017.
“It is a credit to the entire airport team that we not only reached the highest level of the programme, but one year on we remain the only airport in Australia at this level.
“We have worked hard to make Sunshine Coast Airport the most sustainable airport in the country and we are incredibly proud of our achievements under the programme.”
Deal done for Navi Mumbai
GVK Power & Infrastructure has signed a concession agreement to operate India’s new international airport in Mumbai.
GVK, which spearheads the consortium that runs Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, has agreed a 30-year deal to operate Navi Mumbai International Airport.
The gateway, currently under construction on a 1,060 hectare site around 35km from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, is expected to open by 2020.
The concession agreement has been signed between Navi Mumbai International Airport Ltd (NMIAL) – a special purpose vehicle set up for the project by GVK – and the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra (CIDCO).
GVK, through subsidiary, Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), holds a controlling 74% stake in NMIAL while CIDCO has a 26% shareholding.
The initial concession period is 30 years, with the option for a 10-year extension.
MIAL’s executive chairman, Dr GVK Reddy, says: “We are delighted that GVK has the opportunity to yet again display its technical and managerial prowess in the airports sector after having created the award winning Mumbai airport.
“With the continued support of the Central government, the Maharashtra government, CIDCO and all our stakeholders, we are confident of creating and delivering the much needed second airport for the twin cities of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.”
Big and impressive
Airport artwork doesn’t get much bigger than at Doha’s Hamad International Airport (HIA), which now boasts another giant sculpture to sit alongside its larger than life teddy bear.
The latest addition, SMALL LIE by American artist KAWS, towers above the ground and is a gift from the Qatar Museum as part of its commitment to making art available to all beyond the confines of a gallery.
Airport CEO, Badr Mohammed Al Meer, enthuses: “HIA’s space for public art is truly redefining the passenger experience.
“SMALL LIE is a monumental art piece. Our operations team had to dismantle the airport façade at concourse D to handle the crates and we worked on the technical installation for several weeks.”
He adds: “We are preparing to handle 50 million passengers by 2022. The airport is thriving and is committed to giving transit travellers a memorable journey through arts and culture.”
Artworks on show at HIA co mprise a mix of site-specific creations and pieces which have been carefully selected for the airport, something the Qatar gateway feels “transforms the transportation hub into a large-scale gallery filled with breath-taking pieces of art”.
Its work of art include the iconic Lamp Bear by Swiss artist Urs Fischer; Oryx statues by Dutch artist Tom Claassen; and the Playground by American sculptor Tom Otterness.
Asia-Pacific airports continue to set new records
Beijing Capital International Airport retained its status as the second busiest airport on the planet in 2017, handling 95.8 million passengers – just 8.1 million less than world No.1, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta.
The total, which ensured that it remained the biggest airport in the Asia-Pacific region, represented a 1.5% upturn on the previous year.
The region’s second busiest gateway, Dubai International Airport (DXB), accommodated 88.2 million passengers (+5.5%) to hold on to its title of being the world’s top airport for international passengers.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said: “It was a very successful year for DXB as we not only achieved robust growth in traffic to solidify our position as the world’s number one international airport, but also delighted our customers with a range of new and exciting services and innovative products.
“We made passenger journeys through the facility smoother by reducing waiting times – by deploying cutting edge technology to track and manage queues in real time, as well as by enabling the use of Emirates ID at smart gates for UAE residents. With passenger traffic expected to reach 90.3 million in 2018, our focus in the new year will be on the DXB Plus programme, which aims to expand the airport’s annual capacity to 118 million passengers through process improvements and use of new technology.”
Elsewhere, Tokyo Haneda welcomed 85 million passengers (+7.4%); Hong Kong International Airport 72.9 million (3.3%), while Singapore Changi handled an all-time high of 62.2 million (6%).