Mark Pilling

Three airport construction projects on the drawing board in China are poised to provide the British Airports Group (BAG) with its first major contract victory.

BAG, now under the wing of the SBAC, was formed three years ago to give British firms a collective thrust in tackling lucrative airport building jobs.

"Our mission is very simple - to help UK companies in the airport sector to win contracts overseas," says Sir Gil Thompson, chairman of BAG.BAG is competing with strong airport consortia in Germany and France, whose governments offer considerable support for their airport industries.

BAG is paying particular attention to the planned new terminal for Chongqing airport in western China, says Sir Gil.

This airport handles only two million passengers a year at present. However, it has great potential because the city has a population of 33 million, and the airport has been granted a direct air service to Germany. This is unusual as air services from China are normally only via main hubs like Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.


To help get on the invitation to tender list for the Chongquing project, BAG is hosting a delegation of Chinese aviation officials in the UK this week.

The group, including Gao Hongfeng, the vice-minister of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, visited Edinburgh and Manchester airports prior to coming to Farnborough.

The other Chinese airport projects that BAG is gunning for are terminal extensions at Chingdao and Xian. All of these projects are worth around £100 million each.

"BAG is starting to get very deeply involved in overseas airports projects. It is about making things happen. BAG is not in the business of planting flags in a country and just saying we've been there," says Sir Gil.

Although it has still to win a major airport deal, BAG's various overseas missions have helped individual companies get business. For example, one company won the contract to supply the seats for the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and another sold bird scarer systems to an airport in China.

Source: Flight Daily News