Taiwan to enhance airports on outlying islands

Aeronautics regulator pledges to upgrade look of country’s four outlying island airports on 73rd anniversary

Lanyu Airport (Lanyu Airport website photo)

Lanyu Airport (Lanyu Airport website photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s aeronautics regulator pledged to breathe fresh life into the country’s four outlying island airports on Monday (Jan. 20) as it marked its 73rd anniversary.

Qimei (七美), Wangan (望安), Lyudao (綠島), and Lanyu (蘭嶼) airports will be renovated to have a new look that incorporates local characteristics, said Lin Kuo-shian (林國顯), director-general of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA). Japanese designers will be enlisted to take part in the project that will transform the airports.

Development plans for airports on the main island of Taiwan are also in full swing. Land appropriation for Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will start in March, noise control will be improved for Taipei Songshan Airport, passenger capacity will be increased for Taichung International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport, wrote UDN.

The island country made great leaps in the development of its aviation industry last year, with 96 airlines operating an air network of 326 flight routes that connect 150 cities. Taiwan’s airports handled a record-setting 72 million passengers in 2019, Lin announced.

In addition, CAA inked or renewed aviation pacts with countries like Palau, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Nauru in 2019. Taiwan, which plays a pivotal rule in aviation safety for Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, has also been seeking to participate in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) — though to no avail due to Beijing’s pressure.

The aviation industry will continue to be promoted in line with the 2020 white paper on Taiwan’s transportation development, which focuses on safety, efficiency, quality, and green concepts, noted Chi Wen-Jong (祁文中), Deputy Minister of Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC).