(Yicai Global) May 9 -- Locations have been selected for second airports in the megacities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, per the Guangdong Provincial Government's recently issued Comprehensive Traffic Transportation System Five-year Plan. The sites were selected predominantly for their potential to boost economic growth.
The Pearl River Delta Super Express Airport in Foshan city's Gaoming district and Huizhou Airport in Huizhou city's Pingtan town will function as the next airports for Guangzhou and Shenzhen, respectively.
The Pearl River Delta Super Express Airport and the existing Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport are expected to form an international aviation hub targeting central and western areas of the Pearl River Delta region. The hub will be dedicated to vigorously developing passenger and freight transportation for domestic and global airlines.
Huizhou Airport is poised to offer cross-provincial and inter-regional flights with domestic airlines and a small number of international routes, providing services for cities such as Huizhou, Shanwei, and Heyuan and eastern regions in Shenzhen.
Generally, when the passenger throughput of an airport reaches 50 to 60 million, a second airport will be necessary to strike a balance between the economical scale and services of the airport, said Professor Li Xiaojin, head of Air Transport Economy Research Institute of Civil Aviation University of China.
"Guangzhou government has long eyed the Zengcheng district of eastern Guangzhou for the second airport," Guangdong Provincial Society of Economic Reform Vice-president Peng Peng told Yicai Global.
The layout of the second airport clearly takes into consideration the need to further balanced development of the regional economy, Peng said. The Pearl River Delta Super Express Airport will contribute to the development in the western coastal areas of the Pearl River and regions in western Guangdong, while Huizhou Airport will promote eastern Guangdong's economy.
The addition of airports in Guangzhou and Shenzhen will inevitably divert passenger flow from the current Baiyun Airport and Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport, but a systematic method can be established based on each airport's distinctive positioning, said Peng.
"Multiple flight routes and cheap tickets could bring the role of the second airport into full play," he said. "Otherwise, in case of insufficient airlines and high fares, or a lack of a definite and effective division of responsibilities, what will end up happening will be that neither the due effect of the new airport nor the role to drive regional economy will be achieved."