Macau, China, 9 Oct – Macau’s international airport is expected to almost reach its maximum capacity of 6 million passengers at the end of 2007 after having 4.1 million people in the first nine months of this year, according to official figures.
According to the figures published by Macau’s Airports Administration, between January and September of this year 4.112 million people used Macau airport, or 13 percent more than in the first nine months of 2006.
The average monthly passenger traffic was over 400,000 people, and by the end of the year the airport, which in 2006 was used by around 5 million passengers, is expected to receive a further 1.2 or 1.4 million passengers, to bring the total to 5.5 million for 2007.
The airport, which was opened in 1995 with a capacity of 6 million passengers per year, is already limited at times of greater traffic and needs to expand its capacity in order to meet short, medium and long term needs, a sector source recently told Portuguese news agency Lusa.
The airport’s expansion project, worth over US$1.25 billion, includes lengthening the runway by 550 meters, finishing the taxiing road parallel to the runway and creating quick exit ways for aircraft in that area, Thus increasing the runways capacity to 32 landings and takeoffs per hour.
The plan also includes increasing the number of parking areas for aircraft from 24 to over 50, the expansion of the passenger terminal and the aviation support services buildings, extending the executive aviation areas, replacing the current open-air parking lots for a multi-storey car park with a capacity for around 1,000 vehicles.
“In its first stage the project will increase the airport’s capacity from 6 million to 12 to 15 million passengers and in the second stage to a total of 24 million passengers,” said the source contacted by Lusa.
Macau International Airport is the property of CAM – Companhia do Aeroporto, whose shareholder structure is led by the local government with 55 percent and includes magnate Stanley Ho, with 35 percent.
The large-scale expansion work on the airport will, however, only be carried out when the Macau government has agreed to acquire the entire shareholdings of the airport’s private shareholders. (macauhub)