Macau International Airport needs to expand to handle a projected 11 million passengers by the years 2024 to 2026, and eventually 15 million passengers annually between the years 2031 and 2037, according to estimates from the city’s Civil Aviation Authority.
The estimates are included in the “Macau International Airport Master Plan”.
The authority started on Friday a 14-day public consultation on the environmental impact of the proposed airport extension site as mentioned in the plan.
Need for expansion was “urgent” as airport operations had already reached “maximum capacity”, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the authority explained in the plan.
The flight traffic forecast is on the expectation the city would see an increasing number of new routes to mainland China and the Asia-Pacific region. The authority also anticipated the launching of “medium- and long-haul” flights; rising demand for outbound travel by local residents; and the likelihood of attracting a greater number low-cost carriers to the Macau market.
Land reclamation will be needed for the government’s proposed airport enlargement, the authority explained. It would include a new passenger terminal; 49 stands for commercial aircraft; extension of the airport apron; and an extension of the “general aviation apron”.
Under the proposal, the airport site would be extended south, to the construction-waste zone next to the airport, and north to a new urban reclaimed zone, known by the government as plot “E2”, according to the authority.
Macau airport had 9.6 million arriving and departing passengers for full-year 2019, an all-time record, before a dramatic dip in volume during 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
For the first nine months of this year, visitor arrivals at Macau’s airport tallied only 346,929, down nearly 88 percent year-on-year, according to the latest available data from the city’s Statistics and Census Service.
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”They want us to invest as well. The government there wants to see growth in Macau. We are not that concerned about that issue [licence renewal] at all”
Chairman and chief executive of Las Vegas Sands