President Ma Ying-jeou (second left) and Premier Mao Chi-kuo (center) give thumbs-up during a launch ceremony for the renovated north runway Dec. 24 at the TTIA.
During the launch ceremony, President Ma Ying-jeou praised the TTIA’s transformation in recent years, saying he expects the enhanced capabilities of the facility to play a critical role in driving Taiwan’s tourism industry.
“Thanks to government initiatives since 2008 designed to improve the TTIA’s infrastructure and service quality, the airport has emerged as a regional benchmark,” Ma said.
These efforts have earned global recognition in the form of the facility’s improved ratings in Airport Service Quality surveys conducted by the Montreal-based Airports Council International between 2012 and 2014, as well as top rankings in staff service by the U.K.-based aviation industry consultancy Skytrax.
According to the president, the number of foreign visitors to Taiwan has been increasing by one million per year since he took office in 2008, with the annual total set to top 10.3 million by the end of 2015.
During this same period, the country’s related foreign exchange earnings has increased from NT$170 billion (US$5.23 billion) to NT$440 billion.
Ma attributed the phenomenal growth to direct cross-strait flights and a surge in the number of countries offering visa privileges to ROC passport holders.
“These achievements prove that the government’s viable diplomacy and peaceful development of cross-strait relations are paying dividends,” he said.
Measuring 3,660 meters long and 60 meters wide, the NT$2.14 billion runway is in full compliance with the specifications stipulated in International Civil Aviation Organization Annex 14, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Communications.
The reinstated runway can accommodate a fully loaded Airbus A-380. Together with the south runway, the airport’s handling capacity will increase from 30 flights to 50 per hour, with the overall on-time ratio improving from 85 percent to 98 percent, according to the MOTC.
With the expansion of Terminal 2 set for completion in 2018, the addition of a third terminal and the planning of a third runway beginning 2020, the MOTC expects the TTIA’s annual service capacity to top 100 million travelers by 2030.