The Macao SAR Government has received the official approval document from the Central Government for the land reclamation project for the airport expansion. The Civil Aviation Authority (AACM) extends sincere gratitude to the Central Government for rendering support on the sustainable development of Macao’s aviation and promises to continue to coordinate with all parties and monitor CAM-Macau International Airport Company Limited to execute the preparation for the project. The expansion of the airport will consolidate the position of Macao as a world tourism and leisure hub and diversify the economic market, thereby enhancing the competitiveness of Macau International Airport in the Pearl River Delta Region.
The president of AACM, Mr. Chan Weng Hong, said that the preparation and the revisions of the Macau International Airport Master Plan has been underway for many years. Having received the approval from the Central Government, the Authority extends sincere gratitude to the mainland ministries involved in the approval process, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council for their coordination work, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR for their support, the various Macao government entities and the industry operators for their help and contribution.
The Macau International Airport Master Plan was jointly prepared by AACM and CAM and was concluded having solicited the views and opinions from the aviation industry, the tourism industry and the logistics industry. In July 2016, the SAR Government approved the master plan; in February 2017, the SAR Government submitted the application to the Central Government for the airport expansion plan, including the gradual phases of the land reclamation project; from November 2017 to August 2018, AACM conducted the water flow study for the project in accordance with the comments made by the mainland ministries and subsequently revised the layout of the expansion plan.
In these years, AACM had maintained close communication with the mainland ministries; from August 2019 to June 2021, AACM further carried out the scientific research projects and prepared four reports, namely the report for flood control, the report for the impact of navigation, the report for the use of the water areas and the report for the environmental impact. The mainland ministries and the Macao parties had held meetings, conducted site inspections and went through scientific debate sessions. Upon completion of the above final reports, the SAR Government submitted the application for the land reclamation project to the Central Government in August 2021.
AACM said that the airport expansion plan was a product made through the cooperation between the SAR Government and the industries. Throughout the approval process, the Central Government had paid high attention to the project and the mainland ministries had provided their professional comments on the technical issues. The expansion plan was therefore concluded with sufficient scientific data and debates. It can cope with the future development of the air transport industry of Macao and comply with the environmental protection need of the neighbouring areas.
AACM is confident that the enhancement of the airport infrastructures, the optimization of the terminal facilities, the gradual resumption of flight services and the expansion of the aviation network will offer more diversified services to both the Macao residents and the travellers from the Pearl River Delta Region. AACM is therefore grateful that the approval from the Central Government has come in time to make way for the recovery of the aviation industry in the post-pandemic period, which will help the industry to better integrate into the Big Bay Area development and attract more aviation professional people to come to Macao to join the industry.
The land reclamation project includes a) reclaiming the water areas between the runway and the two taxiways to expand the capacity of the apron in order to build more aircraft stands and construct the fast lanes for taxiing, b) maintaining the present runway length but extending the runway end safety areas in order to fulfil the new safety standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and c) creating the water channel with 95 metres in width between the runway and the apron. The superstructure will greatly increase the capacity of the passenger terminal, the capacity of the general aviation facilities as well as the capacity of the runway.
The land reclamation project will be executed in different phases according to the traffic demand. The total land reclamation area will exceed 129 hectares. When the ultimate phase of the expansion project is concluded, the handling capacity of the airport will be increased to 15 million passengers per year.