Zhuhai, HK airports make innovations on operation model
Zhuhai (Jinwan) Airport has been striving to integrate into the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) international airport cluster by enhancing cooperation with Hong Kong International Airport and opening more international routes.
More outbound passengers taking domestic flights are expected to be attracted to Zhuhai (Jinwan) Airport, where they can take international flights at Hong Kong International Airport after a quick transit via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB), according to Qiu Changxian, general manager of Zhuhai Aviation City & Airport Group.
It is expected that over 10 percent of the outbound passengers will choose the Zhuhai airport as their layover,while more international visitors entering the Chinese mainland will choose Hong Kong and Zhuhai airports for their connecting flights.
Qiu added that this new operation model will contribute to Zhuhai's economic growth, help deepen business cooperation among airports in the GBA, and give full play to the HZMB's functions.
Zhuhai (Jinwan) Airport [File photo courtesy Zhuhai Daily]
The airport started operation in 1995 under the name of Zhuhai Sanzao Airport, which was then changed to Zhuhai (Jinwan) Airport in January 2013. It was built according to standards of an international airport, with an annual passenger handling capacity of 12 million, making it one of the largest and most advanced modern airports at that time. However, the airport's development in its first decade of operation was hindered by various issues.
Zhuhai and Airport Authority Hong Kong jointly invested in Zhuhai Aviation City & Airport Group in 2006 with support from the Ministry of Commerce, China Aviation Administration of China, as well as People's Government of Guangdong Province. The new enterprise won the operation and management rights of Zhuhai airport for 20 years.
The advanced management experience of Hong Kong International Airport was applied in Zhuhai airport's operation, helping it attract new airlines and expand its passenger scale. In 2017, the airport's annual passenger throughput expanded by 30.3 percent to 1.04 million.
Zhuhai (Jinwan) Airport now has opened routes to 89 destinations rather than the previous 17, covering 97 percent of major domestic cities. The number of airlines settled in the airport also increased from five to the current 35, while 44 percent of their air routes are operated more than once a day, noted Qiu.
The annual passenger throughput growth of Zhuhai airport from 2006 to 2019 was 23.4 percent, which is twice the national average. Of note, the figure in 2018 exceeded 10 million, making it the fourth airport in the GBA to reach that level after airports in Hong Kong, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen.
A total of 4.8 billion yuan ($716.2 million) has been invested in the current renovation and expansion of Zhuhai (Jinwan) Airport, which is expected to be completed in 2024. Upon operation, the airport's annual passenger capacity will double to 27.5 million. The upcoming Terminal 2 will have floorage of 191,000 sqm (47 acres), which is twice the size of the current T1.