Macau, China, 28 Oct – Work totalling more than US$25 million (200 million patacas) is expected to begin at Macau International Airport (MIA) in the coming months to increase the number of immigration counters, boarding gates, eateries, shopping outlets and toilets, according to MacauNews.
An MIA spokesman told MacauNews that the project had gone through the tendering and selection process and an announcement would be made in regards to the start date and the chosen construction company once final approval for the work had been granted.
The construction project, which is awaiting final approval, is expected to take up to two years and will cut boarding and immigration queue times.
The work is only a temporary measure with MIA planning a further expansion over five years, costing more than 5 billion patacas (US$650 million).
The five-year expansion plan, which would include land reclamation, would increase capacity to up to 12 million people.
Last year more than 5.5 million people used the airport, there were 53,386 flights and 180,000 tonnes of cargo processed.
There are 15 airlines that fly out of MIA, covering 28 destinations on about 1,000 flights a week.
The majority of the 120,000 passengers that use the airport each month are from Taiwan, South East Asia and mainland China.
According to MIA, in the past two years the Macau aviation industry has grown 300 percent as a result of tourist and real estate development.
A spokesman said the five-year expansion plan would only go ahead if the funding could be secured, as the amounts involved were quite high.
In August 2007, the Macau government said it was considering acquiring the entire private capital of airport management company CAM and investing 10 billion patacas (US$1.29 billion) in improving its structure and operation.
CAM was set up in 1989 with the Macau government owning 55.4 percent and Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macau (STDM), owned by gaming magnate Stanley Ho, owning 33.03 percent. (macauhub)