Southern airports lag in cargo growth
Air-cargo throughput at three airports in southern China last year failed to reflect the average 25 per cent annual growth in the mainland's air-cargo industry for the past five years.
Congested Baiyun airport in Guangzhou reported only a 9.6 per cent rise in air freight to 351,800 tonnes last year, up from 320,950 tonnes in 1996.
This compares with a 9.4 per cent rise in air-cargo throughput at Shenzhen's Huangtian airport and a meagre 5.4 per cent rise to 10,353 tonnes of domestic cargo at Zhuhai airport.
Although Zhuhai airport has the facilities, it has no central government approval for international flights.
At the Macau International Airport, Sociedade Do Aeroporto Internacional De Macau (CAM) reports handling an impressive 86 per cent rise in air cargo to 45,540 tonnes last year.
CAM marketing adviser Roger Mowbray Stephenson said the Macau air-cargo facility was in greater demand because the cumulative cost of moving freight through it was 18 per cent less than at Hong Kong's Kai Tak.
Landing fees alone were $10,000 less per flight, a saving that is expected to be enhanced with the opening of Chek Lap Kok.
Kai Tak handled a record 1.69 million tonnes last year, despite having an air-cargo terminal with a design capacity to handle 1.5 million tonnes.