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Joe Bates reports on the latest news, views and developments from across the busy Asia-Pacific region.

Yangon ready for next step in its development
Myanmar’s Yangon International Airport (YIA) is to be further upgraded to better equip it to accommodate more international traffic.

Operator, Yangon Aerodrome Company Limited (YACL), has also revealed that it is stepping up its marketing efforts in a bid to develop the airport’s international route network.

A total of six million passengers passed through YIA in 2018 (+2.5%), which is the busiest of Myanmar’s three (Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw) international airports.

“We are confident that, in partnership with all the relevant stakeholders in the tourism industry, the community and the Myanmar government, 2019 tourist air passenger traffic will surpass that of 2018,” said YACL’s CEO, Ho Chee Tong.

“As the investor and operator of Myanmar’s main international airport, we have a responsibility to enhance infrastructure while striving to deliver a high level of safety, security and service. YIA is the gateway to Myanmar and it is important that we deliver an outstanding experience for tourists and business travellers.”

YACL took over YIA’s operation and management in October 2015 under a Public-Private Partnership tender from Myanmar’s Department of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of Transport and Communications. 

Hyderabad Airport City secures new anchor tenant
Hyderabad-Rajiv Gandhi International Airport’s airport city plans have been boosted by Safran’s decision to build a 13,000sqm plant on its property which it will use to manufacture parts for aircraft engines.

It will use the plant to manufacture parts for the LEAP turbofan engine produced by CFM International – a 50/50 joint company between Safran Aircraft Engines and GE.

Safran has also signed an agreement to produce LEAP engine harnesses in a 4,000sqm facility to be delivered by GMR Hyderabad Aviation SEZ Limited (GHASL), a part of Hyderabad Airport City and a 100% subsidiary of airport operator GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL).

GBS Raju, business chairman for airports for the GMR Group, said: “This agreement not only gives us an opportunity to develop the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility for the company, but also a prospect to contribute to the Telangana State government’s aggressive efforts towards turning Hyderabad into India’s new aerospace and defence manufacturing destination.”

GHIAL’s planned Hyderabad Airport City will include dedicated zones for business, health, education, fun, logistics and aerospace.

Within these zones there will be a convention centre, commercial office space, business parks, a “big box retail and lifestyle experience destination centre” and a GMR Aerospace & Industrial Park for which Safran will be an anchor tenant. 


New brand for Dubai International Airport
Dubai Airports has unveiled a new brand for Dubai International Airport (DXB) that it says signifies the company’s transition from airport operator to a consumer led firm “committed to making the world’s busiest international airport, the world’s best”.

The brand launch event was attended by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Airports; and Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports.

According to Dubai Airports, the new brand embodies the unique values of its home city, demonstrating unmatched hospitality, a culture of vibrant imagination, openness to new ideas, and a mesmerising mosaic of exciting and inspiring experiences.

Griffiths enthuses: “We are proud to launch the new DXB brand to reflect the fresh direction and truly transform DXB into the airport of the future, one that is led by a more customer-centric approach, that incorporates the hospitality, excitement, warmth and true spirit of Dubai.

“The new brand represents the ways in which we connect the world, not only by physically facilitating access to over 220 destinations around the world, but by transporting our customers through their experience of different cultures, food, music and art. This is what DXB, Dubai and the UAE are all about, and what our new brand will represent moving forward.” 

Commercial enhancement at Chongqing Jiangbei
Changi Airports International (CAI) has established a new company to oversee the development of non-aeronautical operations at China’s Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport.

Its partner in the project, Chongqing Airport Group, will hold a 51% stake in the newly created Chongqing Airport Commercial Management Co Ltd. CAI, which holds a 49% interest in the new joint venture, is the international investment arm of Singapore Changi operator, Changi Airport Group (CAG).

According to CAI, the agreement will cover enhancing the commercial landscape at the Chinese gateway by introducing “experiential concepts” that promote a sense of place, as well as new product categories and brands, to meet the changing preferences of passengers and visitors to the airport.

The new company will also manage Chongqing Jiangbei’s CIP facilities, car park, advertising in the terminals and Ground Transport Centre.

CAI’s CEO, Lim Liang Song, says: “Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport is a major aviation hub for airlines in Western China, and we are honoured to be able to play a part in defining its commercial experience.

“The joint venture is affirmation of our good working relationship with the airport and its trust in our capabilities, which started in 2008 when they appointed CAI to consult on the commercial development of one of its terminal.” 

The future is green
ACI Asia-Pacific has once again recognised the ‘outstanding’ environmental achievements of nine airports in its annual Green Airports Recongition awards programme.

Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport received the top ‘Platinum’ award in the Over 45 million passengers per annum category, followed by Mumbai-Chhatrapati Shivaji (Gold) and Hong Kong (Silver).

Taoyuan International Airport (Platinum) triumphed in the 10 to 45 million passengers per annum category, ahead of Sydney (Gold) and Hyderabad–Rajiv Gandhi (Silver).

While Adelaide (Platinum), Al Bateen Executive Airport (Gold), and Nadi (Silver) were the winners in the Under 10 million passengers per annum category.

This year’s judging panel included Manchester Metropolitan University’s senior lecturer in environmental management, Christopher Paling, and environmental consultant, Dr Panagiotis Karamanos.

Karamanos notes: “Given the dire predictions about climate change, it is truly encouraging that many airports in Asia-Pacific are undertaking innovative and effective initiatives.”

ACI Asia-Pacific’s regional director, Patti Chau, says: “I would like to congratulate every airport that made the shortlist. Each participating airport is committed to continually improving their environmental performance and sharing the best green airport practice within our industry.  

“Our panel of judges had the difficult task of selecting from many outstanding submissions that have proposed innovative solutions.” 


Invercargill set to get New Zealand’s first digital ATC tower
New Zealand’s first remotely operated digital air traffic control tower is a step closer to reality following the award of a contract to global technology provider, Frequentis, to develop a digital system for Invercargill Airport.

It has been awarded the contract by air navigation services provider, Airways, which is pursuing digital tower technology as a national alternative to conventional towers to enhance aviation safety, improve weather resiliency and provide extended levels of service to New Zealand’s regions.

“A digital tower at Invercargill Airport is the first step in our journey to modernise the way we provide air traffic services at airports,” says Airways general manager of air traffic services, Tim Boyle. “We’re excited about the safety and efficiency advantages the technology offers to the airport, airlines, and ultimately travellers.”

Airways and Frequentis will work in partnership to deploy the digital system in Invercargill. It is due to go live in 2020 and will be operated at first by controllers based at the airfield, before later moving to a centralised hub providing services to a number of regional locations.

Invercargill Airport’s general manager, Nigel Finnerty, enthuses: “As Southland’s gateway to the world, Invercargill Airport is a growing regional airport and we’re pleased to be leading the introduction of digital air traffic control into New Zealand.

“Digital towers will help to future-proof our airport operations, ensuring we’re able to safely and efficiently meet the ongoing needs of all those who fly here.”


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