Infrastructure remains headache for Asian airlines

Infrastructure remains a significant problem for Asia’s airlines as they aim to maintain their strong growth, the director of a regional trade body has said.

Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), told reporters ahead of the annual Assembly of Presidents in Tokyo that regional infrastructure remains “a big headache”.

Indonesia is one country identified as having infrastructure constraints (photo by Komar)
Indonesia is one country identified as having infrastructure constraints (photo by Komar)

New facilities are being built, but rarely fast enough for an industry which is growing at a rate of 5% per annum. In some countries where the growth is 10%, such as China, infrastructure needs to double every six years just to keep pace, Herdman pointed out.

These “doubling periods”, as Herdman has dubbed them, mean new airports open at full capacity.

Among the initiatives AAPA is pushing is a new role for governments which requires them to act more as regulators and planners than owners and architects.

“We need to call on the regulators,” Herdman said. “Government has a role to play even if it is not financing.”

Trouble spots Herdman mentioned include the Philippines, Indonesia (especially Jakarta), India and Hong Kong. The AAPA did note however, that a more supportive attitude has been seen from the government in Jakarta recently.

Another specific problem is China where airspace needs to be managed better to prevent congestion at its hubs, Herdman added.

Michael Mackey reports for Travel Daily Asia from the AAPA Assembly of Presidents in Tokyo

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