Taiwan's Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project on track to begin in 2018

Plans for the massive 4,500 hectare project have been in the works since the Ma administration

(Image shared from KPMG International Cooperative Twitter acct.)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Taoyuan International Airport and the government are gearing up for a massive infrastructure expansion project set to begin in 2018; The Taoyuan Aerotropolis project.

The massive infrastructure development plan is set to receive final approval in March, and then the Taoyuan City Government will have the clear to begin seeking contractors to start construction.

The Taoyuan Aerotropolis will essentially create a modern industrial logistics center, development zone as well as a modern urban residential neighborhood, all surrounding the current Taoyuan International Airport.

Concept plans for the massive 4,500 hectare project have been in the works since the Ma administration, and the project will possibly be the largest infrastructure project in Taiwan’s history.

A recent report from the American Chamber of Commerce says that the total project is expected to create between 200,000 and 300,000 new jobs. It is also anticipated that the project, once completed, will generate annual revenues of around US$ 74 billion dollars.

It is expected to drastically increase investment in aviation and transport related industries in Taiwan, while also increasing the airport’s passenger capacity from around 40 million annual passengers to about 60 million, according to the Amcham report.

The size and scope of the project is incredible, and it drew plenty of criticism during the Ma administration when it was first pitched. Once construction begins, the Aerotropolis will very likely come under criticism again for many of the same reasons as before.

Promoted as a “Gateway to Taiwan and to Asia,” the project calls for new rail lines, including a new MRT line for the Aerotropolis zone itself.

In addition to the Taoyuan International Airport, the new complex will include the following five key zones; a Green Innovation Zone, a Logistics and Trading Zone, a LOHAS Residential Zone, a Passenger Transportation and Retail Zone, and an Administration and Business Service Zone.

The current plans are also being promoted in step with the government’s “5+2" Industrial Innovation program, and will be integrated into the Asia Silicon Valley Development initiative. The entire project will also be a fertile ground for investment in smart technologies, Internet of Things, and the development of “green” technology and design.

The Amcham report states that Taoyuan city is also planning to incorporate an “Asia Innovation R&D Talent Exchange Center” within the Taoyuan Aerotropolis.

According to a slide presentation prepared by the former CEO of the Taoyuan Airport Corporation, David Fei, the Aerotropolis is intended as an incubator for new technological innovation, with a direct link to a to other key global cities, while also serving as a transit and logistics hub between Taipei and the Hsinchu Science Industrial Park.

For a glimpse of the project that has been in the planning stages for many years, check out the video presentation below.