Macau Airport To Take Over Nearby Space For Future Increase in Passengers
Posted on: April 25, 2020, 07:00h.
Last updated on: April 26, 2020, 11:03h.
Macau International Airport will acquire a portion of the Taipa Ferry Terminal to handle airline overflow passengers. The surge is predicted to be in the millions, despite the temporary drop from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Macau Civil Aviation Authority (MCAA) announced this week.
As envisioned, the eastern portion of the ferry terminal will be reassigned for airline passengers as soon as sometime next year, according to Inside Asian Gaming. There will be somewhere between 12 to 16 check-in counters and four boarding gates, the report adds.
Air passengers will be able to check-in, drop off baggage, claim baggage, as well as go through security, immigration, and customs at the reassigned ferry building, Macau News said. But they will have to board a bus to travel between the ferry terminal and the airport.
Currently, the drive between the buildings is about 1.8 miles. It takes some five minutes.
The retrofitted section of the ferry terminal will handle an estimated 1.5 million to 2 million airline passengers a year. The passengers using the auxiliary complex will arrive or depart on four or more airlines.
Last year, Macau’s airport saw 9.6 million passengers. That is 16 percent over 2018 numbers.
Airport Terminals Saturated
The airport’s existing passenger terminals are “saturated, and the unavailability of space in passenger terminals needs to be addressed,” the MCAA said in a statement released on Thursday and based on volumes seen in times other than during the pandemic.
As of mid-April, the number of landings and take-offs at the Macau airport plummeted. There are less than 10 a day, with fewer than 300 in April, the airport said in a statement.
During Q1, Macau’s airport saw about a 50 percent decline in passenger flow and a 25 percent drop in cargo contrasted to the first quarter of 2019, according to MacauBusiness.com. The decline is a result of closed casinos, canceled visits, and multiple airlines postponing flights. But airlines are increasingly resuming flights to Macau.
Also, Macau’s airport retroactively cut fees charged to airlines for landings and take-offs between February and this month.
The total reductions are approximately $2.4 million over the three-month period, according to Inside Asian Gaming. Last month, Macau’s airport said it was “hit hard” by the pandemic in Q1 of this year.
Macau GGR Declined
In March, Macau’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) saw an 80 percent decline year versus year. GGR could be worse in April, JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd has projected.
“We wouldn’t be surprised to see Macau printing near-zero GGR until the restrictions at the Guangdong border are lifted,” JP Morgan said in recent projections. The dismal gaming levels and reduction in non-gambling travel continue to impact the number of flights going to Macau.
To lessen the difficulty travelers face at the Macau-Guangdong border, Macau is developing a health coding system that could replace restrictions now in place with Guangdong Province, according to news reports. Since March, people from Guangdong must quarantine for two weeks after arriving in Macau.
One added advantage with the airport taking over a portion of the ferry terminal is that passengers who flew on a plane and need to board a boat, or vice versa, will not have to go through comprehensive immigration and customs review, Inside Asian Gaming said.