IATA opposes alleged plans to charge passengers for Changi Airport expansion

A South Korean Air Force Black Eagles aerobatic team performs an aerial display in Singapore. – AFP

Projects that cost more than $500 million are put through a "gateway process" and have to be reviewed by an advisory panel of public officers, academics and industry practitioners.

The official also advised governments against privatisation of airport infrastructure, saying such a move would "eat into" the sector's profitability.

Mr de Juniac said that low-priced carriers need traffic growth of 6 per cent to 9 per cent to fill aircraft to be delivered in the next five to seven years.

He said Asia Pacific needs to make much faster progress to address bottlenecks, and that some big cities such as Jakarta, Bangkok and Manila are in desperate need of capacity improvements.

Seoul's Incheon airport meanwhile, provides an example that other airports might want to follow, the IATA leader noted.

De Juniac said Incheon airport's development model demonstrates a great understanding of the role aviation plays in linking the Korean economy to economic opportunities globally.

Previous reports highlighted the possibility of charging passengers with an additional $10 to $15 in fees to help fund the airport expansion, including the building of the Terminal 5.

"At around 1324 Singapore local time, one aircraft of the Black Eagles aerobatic team from the Republic of Korea Air Force skidded and crashed into the grass verge at the side of Changi Airport's Runway 1 and caught fire", the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore said in a news release on Tuesday. "We must ensure the plans for T5 are robust enough to meet the high standards of airline operations and passenger convenience users of Changi Airport have come to expect". "We would like to avoid big projects in which we see overruns because the infrastructure is fantastic but it is very costly".

At a media roundtable part of the Singapore Airshow, de Juniac stressed the organization is strongly against any pre-financing of infrastructure. As early as 2022, China will be the largest single aviation market. India is another emerging power-house - even if it will take longer to mature.



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