New Songshan terminal planned

COMPREHENSIVE::A CAA official said while the proposed relocation of the airport requires further discussion, the agency is still required to plan for new infrastructure

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jan 13, 2016 - Page 3

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) yesterday said it plans to build a new domestic flight terminal at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), adding that the new terminal is scheduled to be in operation by 2025.

The airport currently operates one international and one domestic terminal.

According to the administration, Songshan airport accommodated nearly 6 million travelers last year, which was close to its maximum service capacity.

Based on the plan it submitted to the Executive Yuan, the agency plans to invest NT$23.7 billion (US$704 million) to consolidate its two existing terminals into one large international flight terminal, which would be able to accommodate 4.5 million travelers per year.

The new domestic terminal is to be built on the east side of the airport, with construction scheduled to begin in 2018. The new terminal, scheduled to be in use by 2025, is to have the capacity to serve between 2.6 million and 2.8 million passengers per year.

Aside from construction at both terminals, the agency also plans to rearrange the airport’s aprons and hangars and move the cargo terminal.

The project, titled the “Comprehensive plan for Songshan airport by 2030,” contrasts with a Taipei City Government proposal. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) last year proposed that all flights be moved to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport by 2020.

Administration Aerodrome Engineering Division Director Lin Hung-hsien (林宏憲) said that Songshan airport mainly caters to business travelers heading to the nation’s capital.

Whether Songshan airport should be relocated requires further discussion, he said, adding that the government still needs to plan for the construction of new infrastructure at Songshan airport.

Seven domestic and 14 international flights operate out of Songshan airport and passenger volume is expected to soon exceed the combined capacity of its existing terminals, Lin said.

The new domestic flight terminal is to be constructed on a 10-hectare plot of land previously owned by the military, Lin said.

However, as the new terminal would be further away from MRT Songshan Airport Station than the current terminals, the administration would have to coordinate with the Taipei City Government to rearrange bus stops and bus routes near the airport, Lin said, adding that the number of shuttle buses on the airport loop line would need to be increased as well.

The agency last year said that it would be difficult for Taoyuan airport to absorb all flights from Songshan airport by 2020, as the nation’s largest international airport is in the process of expanding its facilities to cope with rapid growth in its passenger volume.