Wed, Dec 17, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Songshan airport may open to other Asian countries

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei Songshan Airport could start providing flights to other Asian countries in 2010, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said yesterday.

“It [the airport] still has room to grow,” said CAA director-general Lee Long-wen (李龍文). “We are still evaluating the possibility.”

The airport suspended its international flight service in 1979 and has been used mainly for domestic flights since then. However, the number of domestic flights to the airport dropped dramatically following the launch of the High Speed Rail in 2006.

This year, the airport resumed its status as an international airport and began offering cross-strait charter flights in July.

“Taipei’s advantage as both the nation’s capital and economic center could be better served if Songshan could start having direct flights to Northeast or Southeast [Asian] countries,” Lee said.

Lee said that the airport was designed to accommodate a total of 34 aircraft per hour, but at present does not reach half that.

Six Chinese airlines have been approved by the Ministry of Economic Affairs to establish offices in Taiwan, including China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Air China, Shanghai Airlines, Xiamen Airlines and Hainan Airlines.

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