Under a new initiative proposed by the government of China, Macau is set to become a regional business aviation hub.
The catchily titled ‘Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao Dawan District Development Plan’ is part of the Chinese government’s ‘Greater Bay Area Plan’, which looks to bring cities on all sides of the greater bay area together.
The greater bay area includes China’s Guangdong province, as well as Hong Kong and Macau. Two of China’s biggest megacities, Guangzhou and Shenzhen are in Guangdong province.
Under the plan, Macau will become a regional business aviation hub, with all of the associated infrastructure needed to support business-aviation operations in the region, including MRO facilities and parking for business jets.
To facilitate this, the current Macau airport will be redeveloped, with the first stage being to reclaim the current area between the taxiways from the sea. Once reclaimed, the land will be built up to include infrastructure and parking bays to support business aircraft.
Hong Kong will be further recognised as an international gateway and freight hub and more infrastructure, including a third runway, will be built to support this. Business aviation will not be moved out of the airport, but movements at peak hours will remain capped.
The airports at Guangzhou and Shenzhen will also be expanded and a study undertaken into the feasibility of building a second airport in Guangzhou.
Whilst it would seem that business aircraft will be the main winner, helicopters will play a significant part in connecting the greater bay area cities. To facilitate this the government will accelerate the reform of low-level airspace around the bay area, opening up the possibilities for more helicopter routings between cities.
For AsBAA, the Asian Business Aviation Association, the recognition of the importance of business aviation in the region is the culmination of three years of lobbying. Through its Hong Kong and Greater Bay Area chapters, AsBAA says that it will contribute to the founding of a Greater Bay Area Transportation Committee, which will help support the coordination of airspace in the surrounding areas, as well as the regulatory reforms that will be needed.
“AsBAA is deeply encouraged and proud to see the enhanced commitment from the Chinese central government to recognise the importance of BA/GA and facilitate its growth in the GBA.” Said Jenny Lau, chairperson, AsBAA. “Over the past three years, we have successfully lobbied for many of the points now announced in the government’s outline plan for the region.”
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