Songshan Airport to be developed
The Executive Yuan (Cabinet) has approved a plan to turn around five hectares of land next to Taipei International Airport (Songshan Airport) into a zone offering a range of business facilities and offices. The move will see the military presence at the airport reduced and the development of a infrstructure plan the details of which have yet to be released.
The official release on the Executive Yuan website is as follows:
“Regarding future development of the Taipei Songshan Airport, Premier Sean Chen instructed the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) today to minimize military need for the airport and augment business development in the surrounding area to turn Songshan into the capital’s business airport.
Chen made the remarks after being briefed on the MOTC’s Songshan Airport plan at today’s Executive Yuan Council meeting. He further instructed the ministry to incorporate the recommendations of the Ministry of National Defense, Council for Economic Planning and Development and Taipei City Government and integrate resources of the peripheral areas as it develops a comprehensive plan for the airport’s conversion and expansion. He also urged the MOTC to work closely with the Taipei government to make the city more competitive.
Restoring Songshan Airport’s former glory is a matter that concerns the government, the premier said. Hosting international flights since 1936, the airport was once very popular, with its annual passenger total peaking at 15 million in 1997. It was originally a domestic airline hub, but its business steadily decreased after Taiwan High Speed Rail service began in 2007.
While domestic passenger traffic is now holding steady, Songshan’s passenger traffic is also surging with the opening of direct cross-strait flights and the addition of flights to major cities in northeast Asia, the MOTC said. There were 2.33 million cross-strait and international passengers in 2011, more than double the 1.07 million the airport saw in 2010, and 2.7 million are projected to pass through the airport in 2012. To meet growing passenger volume, the government has re-evaluated the airport’s capacity and drafted a blueprint for subsequent development as a cross-strait and northeast Asian business flight hub.”