Major airports within the Greater Bay Area (GBA) would achieve consolidation into a single airport cluster by 2025 under a proposal issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
Officially, the GBA has nine cities and two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) by political categorisation.
The multi-jurisdiction area has three major airports in Guangzhou, capital of the Guangdong province, Shenzhen, and Hong Kong. In 2019, the three airports handled nearly 198 million passengers combined.
In addition, the Macau International Airport focuses on regional passenger flights, while its neighbour, the Zhuhai Jinwan Airport, focuses on mainland passenger destinations.
The five airports have been competing for airspace, as they are so closely located.
Authorities within the Greater Bay Area have called for a comprehensive plan to make better use of the positioning of each airport. This would help to remove competition between them while fostering a degree of aviation specialisation.
The five airports are holding regular meetings to discuss various topics, with specialisation and competition among them.
The central proposal, which has now been released, has two goals, to be achieved in two phases.
Phase 1 will see the realisation of a Greater Bay Area airport conglomerate in 2025. Before which, in 2022, GBA airports should achieve greater interactions and dynamics between them.
Phase 2 will see infrastructure implemented by the conglomerate by 2035. The airports should be able to operate on a world-class level with safe, green, smart, human and synergetic qualities, according to the proposal.
During the years outlined in the proposal, the central administration will further clarify the functions of each airport, in order to achieve their diversified goals.
For example, the Macao airport will focus on developing into a service-oriented airport. In addition, the mainland civil aviation authority has showed support for the opening of the civil aviation market in Macao.
It also hinted that the Hong Kong airport will remain as the leader of global freight in the Greater Bay Area.