ASIA-PACIFIC REGIONAL NEWS
A snapshot of some of the biggest stories from across the region.
Private sector boosting airport development
The private sector is becoming increasingly involved in the development of airports across ACI’s Asia-Pacific’s region as many look for funding to build new capacity enhancing infrastructure, according to ACI Asia-Pacific’s regional director, Patti Chau.
Talking at ACI’s Airport Economics & Finance Conference and Exhibition in London earlier this year, she noted that at Osaka’s airports in Japan, and elsewhere across the region, privatisation projects were allowing the private sector to help develop airports and fund costly airport expansion projects.
“The privatisation drive is most apparent in countries like Japan where the Osaka airports and Sendai deals were finalised last year, and projects in the pipeline for Tokamatsu, Fukuoka, Kobe and New Chitose are expected to be completed in the next two to three years,” said Chau.
“Privatisation is also back on track in the Philippines and India, where a new National Civil Aviation Plan approved the introduction of a hybrid till system for all airports. This provides much needed regulatory certainty in the market that will help attract private participation in projects like Navi Mumbai and Goa Mopa Greenfield Airport.
“The haste for privatisation also appears to be speeding up in the Middle East, especially for the oil producing nations, where PPP projects are increasingly being considered to help reduce the financial burden on them resulting from low oil prices in the long-term.
“Saudi Arabia’s vision is to privatise all of its 27 airports by 2020 and, elsewhere in the region, privatisation projects are taking shape in Indonesia, Iran, Kuwait and Vietnam.”
Xi’an Xianyang’s new terminal moves a step closer
China’s Xi’an Xianyang International Airport has selected a design team led by Landrum & Brown (L&B) as the competition winner for its new East Terminal/Ground Transport Centre (GTC).
Between them the 700,000sqm new terminal and GTC encompass more than 1.1 million square metres of floor space at the international gateway to the historic city of Xi’an.
L&B will provide ongoing leadership of the architectural design services for this major programme supported by other team members that include the North West Design Institute, Chinese Architectural Design Institute and other specialists.
In addition to the new 40 million passenger per annum capacity East Terminal, the airport will be equipped with four parallel runways upon completion of the latest phase of its infrastructure development programme. Ultimately, the airport is projected to serve 120mppa with a five-runway system.
Xi’an Xianyang International Airport handled 37 million passengers in 2016 to cement its status as the eighth busiest airport in China.
Going the extra mile
Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport has unveiled 50 new passenger service associates (PSAs), whose sole task is to assist and help travellers as they journey through the fast growing Indian gateway.
The initiative is the first launched under operator GHIAL’s new ‘Passenger is Prime’ programme, which aims to further enhance Hyderabad’s already growing reputation for providing outstanding customer service.
Easily identifiable in their turquoise green t-shirts with ‘Passenger is Prime’ & ‘Happy to Help’ emblazoned on the back, GHIAL promises that the PSAs will be located in check-in areas, at security checkpoints, transfers areas and security hold/boarding zones.
GHIAL CEO, SGK Kishore, says: “Many travellers, especially those who are not frequent flyers or those with special needs, sometimes find it challenging to navigate through the many steps involved in modern air travel, and they often encounter moments of anxiety during their journey.
“Keeping this in mind, we have inducted a team of highly motivated young professionals who are intuitive, empathetic and willing to go the extra mile to make passenger journeys through our airport a pleasant and hassle-free experience.
“Going forward, we will collaborate with other key stakeholders such as airlines, Customs, CISF and Immigration to launch more initiatives like this and make our airport a more safe, secure and pleasant experience for everyone.”
Bed and board
A groundbreaking ceremony has officially marked the start of the construction of a new NZ$36m hotel at Wellington Airport.
The Honourable Chris Finlayson officially launched the construction of the four-star 134-bed hotel at the northern end of the airport. The hotel will be managed by Rydges and include a restaurant, bar and conference facilities.
The new addition, which is expected to welcome its first guests in late 2018, will be fully integrated with the Main Terminal Building, built above the International terminal and accessible directly from inside a newly redeveloped passenger lounge.
Steve Sanderson, Wellington Airport’s chief executive, said: “It is part of the airport’s wider efforts to improve the experience of everyone who has to catch an early ﬂight or arrive on a late one.”