Taiwan studying development of Songshan airport

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Taiwan is studying the future of capital Taipei's secondary Songshan airport, and is looking into what could help with its development in the coming years.

Songshan was a domestic airport until July 2008, when it began international services after the introduction of direct flights between Taiwan and mainland China. It subsequently began receiving international flights from other Northeast Asian cities.

Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) says it has been working on a Songshan airport development plan together with the Taipei city government. This report is being studied by the island's legislature, says the CAA.

The plan will look into the future of Songshan given its "constrained space", and examine if it should be repositioned as an airport for business travellers, adds the CAA. Studies are also being conducted on the development of commercial facilities, convention centres, business hotels, office buildings, and other facilities that could grow around the civil aviation sector, it adds.

In 2011, the airport handled 2.33 million international passengers including those from China. This is expected to grow to 2.7 million in 2012. The airport can handle 4.6 million passengers annually, according to its website.

The CAA says that it has been gradually upgrading the airport's existing facilities in response to this growth. This includes an upcoming renewal of Songshan's Terminal One, boarding gates, taxiways and ramps.