President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday he would like to see Taipei Songshan Airport offer flights to major cities in Northeast Asia. Songshan Airport now operates only domestic flights and flights to China.
Ma said he hoped to see flights connecting Songshan to Tokyo and Seoul, as cutting travel time by avoiding Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport would help the nation’s high-tech industry.
Ma made the remarks while meeting members of the Tsinghua Enterpreneur and Executive Club at the Presidential Office.
Ma said more flights connecting Taipei, Shanghai and Tokyo would benefit the high-tech industries in those cities, adding that part of his election platform was to establish a “golden aviation circle in Northeast Asia [sic].”
Saying that his administration attached great importance to developing the high-tech industry, Ma said he wanted to see more convenient transportation between major Asian cities.
Ma said that many big cities in East Asia had two airports — one domestic and the other international. The domestic airport is often more conveniently located, while the international one is outside of the city limits.
“City airports outside many big cities in Northeast Asia are usually far away from the city and travel time from the airport to the city takes a long time,” he said. “More cities are thinking of making their domestic [centrally located] airports international.”
Tokyo was pushing flights between Haneda airport and Seoul, while Tokyo and Shanghai have begun charter flights between their domestic airports, he said.