Asian nations have got to sustain their pace of airport development to keep up with traffic growth in the region, say senior industry figures at Singapore’s Aviation Leadership Summit.
It is critical that governments rise to the challenge of providing sufficient capacity, says Singapore’s transport minister Lui Tuck Yew. “For example Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Seoul and Jakarata have announced or got plans to build new airports, terminals or runways,” he says.
His own country’s gateway, Changi, has plans to add capacity so that the airport can handle 135 million passengers by the mid-2020s, adds Lui.
While Asia well understands the need for efficient infrastructure, there are challenges in some regions, says IATA director general Tony Tyler. “India remains a problem. The new terminal at Mumbai is a stop-gap measure that will provide some relief. But the long-term solution is runway capacity," he says.
“And the new Navi Mumbai airport project is nowhere near completion. Manila and Jakarta face similar constraints,” adds Tyler.
“There are all markets with great potential,” he says. “But there is just not the infrastructure in place to support the economic benefits that aviation can deliver.”