The new international terminal in the Taichung Airport, also known as the Taichung Ching Chuan Kang Airport, is scheduled to open on Thursday.
Currently, both domestic and international passengers use a single terminal. The rapid increase in passenger numbers in recent years means that the 10,000m2 terminal can no longer accommodate the heavy volume of passenger traffic.
Airport director Chang Jui-shu (張瑞澍) said that all international flight passengers would start boarding from the new international terminal on Thursday, which is about 26,000m2. Domestic flight passengers will continue to use the old terminal, Chang said.
An inauguration ceremony for the new terminal will be held on Wednesday, he added.
The airport estimates that the new terminal will help increase capacity from 1.2 million passengers per year to 2.55 million.
Chang said that flights to the airport are expected to increase in the next few years, adding that he planned to discuss building an MRT station at the airport with the Greater Taichung Government.
The airport could become a station on the MRT system’s orange line, which is currently under construction, Chang said.
The airport offers flights to Kinmen, Magong, Matsu and Hualien, as well as international services to Hong Kong; Macau; Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in Vietnam; and Okinawa, Japan. It also has cross-strait services to Xiamen, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Fuzhou, Nanjing, Jinan, Wuhan, Chengdu, Tianjin and Zhengzhou, China.
The government decided to relocate Taichung Airport from Shuinan (水湳) to Ching Chuan Kang in 2004. The airport was mainly used for domestic flights and the occasional international charter flight.
Passenger volume at the airport has been growing annually since 2008 with the launch of cross-strait flight services and the addition of international flights. The average annual growth rate of passenger traffic hit 13.5 percent last year.
Civil Aeronautics Administration data show that Taichung Airport’s passenger volume was about 825,000 in 2004. That number topped 1.1 million in 2008, with international and cross-strait passengers accounting for about 41 percent of traffic. Last year, passenger volume hit 1.59 million, 57 percent of which were international and cross-strait passengers.