World-class airport cluster on fast track

Writer: Han Ximin  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2022-08-03

Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports, can accommodate all types of commercial aircraft including Airbus A380, the world’s largest, when its third runway is put into use in 2025.

The project, with a 12.3-billion-yuan (US$1.76 billion) investment, will satisfy the travel and transport needs of 80 million passengers and 2.6 million tons of cargo that will go through the airport by 2030.

Shenzhen started the construction of the airport’s third runway in March 2020, with a 2.8-square-kilometer reclaimed land from the sea, about the size of 400 standard football pitches. It includes a 3,600-meter-long and 45-meter-wide runway that can accommodate takeoff and landing of all types of commercial aircraft. It also has aviation control facilities consisting of a 3,200-square-meter control tower, 9,500-square-meter business operation building and 800-square-meter equipment building.

In 2019, the airport’s passenger throughput exceeded 52.9 million, an increase of 7.3% over 2018, and cargo and mail throughput was 1.28 million tons, up by 5.3%. Despite the pandemic, the airport ranked third among airports in China in both passenger turnover and cargo throughput, which reached 36.35 million passenger trips and 1.57 million tons, respectively, in 2021.

One growth point of world-class bay areas is having developed air transport systems and airport economy. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), with its integrated regional economy and urbanization, sees the rise of Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport, Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport as the core of the GBA international airport cluster.

Data from the Guangdong Provincial Transportation Bureau showed the GBA will house seven airports, operate 17 runways, and handle 420 million passenger trips and 20 million tons of cargo by 2025, which are double the figures from 2020.

Besides the three core airports, the cluster also includes airports in Macao, Zhuhai, Foshan and Huizhou.

According to the development plans of GBA cities, the Shenzhen airport will handle 80 million passenger trips and 4.5 million tons of cargo a year after its third runway and the T1 and T2 expansion projects are completed in 2026. The Hong Kong airport will handle 120 million passenger trips and 10 million tons of cargo after the expansion project of its third runway is completed in 2024. The Guangzhou airport will have two new runways after its renovation in 2025 and will be capable of handling 140 million passenger trips and 6 million tons of cargo a year.

The Huizhou airport will start renovation this year. It will play the role of Shenzhen’s second airport, which serves people in eastern Dongguan, Shenshan and Heyuan.