A new international airport is under construction in the Caribbean’s St. Vincent and the Grenadines. When completed late next year, Argyle International Airport will have a paved runway of 9,000 feet long and 150 feet wide, with domestic and international terminals designed to handle about 1.5 million passengers annually. The airport will accommodate Boeing 747-400s and will allow for direct flights to St. Vincent and the Grenadines from the U.S., Canada, Europe and Central and South America.
Hong Kong International Airport
Raytheon says tapping into Asia’s urgent need to update its air traffic management (ATM) infrastructure to handle rapid growth in air traffic is one of its key priorities. The company recently responded to a request for proposals from Vietnam and Thailand, and opportunities are surfacing in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, said the U.S. company.
The civil aviation authorities for mainland China, Macau, Canada and the Cayman Islands have accepted Hongkong Jet as an approved aircraft maintenance organization. They follow recognition by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department. “With the strong growth in business aviation in mainland China and customers’ increasing level of sophistication, more customers on the mainland are requesting maintenance services to international standards as they travel to Hong Kong and beyond,” said Chris Buchholz, CEO of Hongkong Jet.
No one doubts that demand for business aviation is growing in Asia, but is the available aircraft capacity being developed sufficiently to meet this demand? It is not, according to Jean Noel Robert, president of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), who believes that the lack of available charter aircraft is a real impediment to growth.
It has been a year since the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) elected a new board and revamped its strategic approach to supporting business aviation development in the region. Jean-Noel Robert, Airbus’ executive and private aviation area sales director for Greater China, Japan and Korea, became chairman, while Embraer Executive Aircraft vice president for sales in China Lee Li and Bombardier Business Aircraft’s then Asia Pacific regional vice president for business aircraft David Dixon were appointed vice chairmen.
Continued overcrowding and access problems at key Asia Pacific airports such as Hong Kong International mean that Subic Bay in the Philippines is well placed to serve as a business aviation hub for the region, according to Aviation Concepts, which last year opened an FBO there.
Membership of the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) has risen from 45 to 58 over the past year, with the most recent company to sign up joining just before yesterday’s annual general meeting held on the eve of the ABACE show in Shanghai. The new member is AIN, publisher of ABACE Convention News.
In anticipation of increased capacity needs, Hong Hong’s government has approved an expansion plan that will give Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) a third runway. Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) believes that construction will start within three years.
Following yesterday’s reopening of Bangkok Don Mueang Airport, which has been closed since late October due to flooding, private jet operator MJets announced that its home base at the airport is once again fully operational.
Not without reason, China continues to dominate expectations for business aviation growth in Asia, but the continent as a whole presents a vast if complex opportunity for the industry.