Looking to further tap into the Greater Bay Area (GBA) growth, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport and Shenzhen Bao’an Airport have announced ambitious expansion plans to increase the airports’ handling capacity and enhance their international standings. 

The GBA consists airports of Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Macau and Zhuhai, and collectively handled about 200 million passengers in 2018.

Guangzhou Baiyun Airport has issued a request for proposal to study the design and planning of the phase three expansion project. The scope includes the construction of a third terminal with an initial handling capacity of 35 million passengers and a mass rapid rail system to connect the three terminals. The project is expected to bring Baiyun’s handling capacity to 120 million passengers annually by 2030 and 140 million by 2045. The hub for China’s largest airline, China Southern Airlines, handles 60.8 million passengers annually, a 5.1% growth.

Meanwhile, Shenzhen Bao’an Airport wants to increase the ratio of international to regional passengers from 1:10 to 1:4 by 2035, starting with a satellite terminal spanning 235,000 sq m, and handling capacity of 22 million. The project will expand to the construction of a third runway as well as a fourth terminal. Shenzhen now handles 44 million passengers annually, growing at a rate of 7.2%.

A challenge for Shenzhen is its proximity to Hong Kong International Airport, and both civil controlled airspace overlaps each other, creating some airspace congestion and limitation of slots into Shenzhen. A push has been made by airport authorities to work with the Chinese military to relax and free up low-level airspace in the GBA and to design and implement a low-level flight management system.

Chen Chuanren, chuanren@purplelightvisuals.com