How to speed up the development of China's "big branch line, small trunk line" airport?

如何加快我国“大支线、小干线”机场发展?

Photo: Zhang Shiyuan, General Manager of Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport

Civil Aviation Resource Network April 8, 2011 News: The civil aviation industry is an important basic industry of the national economy and an integral part of the comprehensive transportation system. Its degree of development reflects the country's comprehensive strength and modernization level. During the “Eleventh Five-Year Plan” period, the development speed of China's civil aviation continued to maintain the fastest growth rate in the global air transportation industry and the domestic comprehensive transportation system, reaching 14.1%. In 2010 alone, the industry achieved a total profit of 43.7 billion yuan. According to data released by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), only a small number of the 175 airports currently operating in China are profitable. About 130 small and medium-sized airports have losses, and losses occurred in 2010. The amount reached 1.68 billion (excluding local government subsidies). It can be seen that the profitability of most airports is low, and the development prospects of the airport are not optimistic. Especially in the “large branch line and small trunk line” airport where the annual passengers in the crack layer are swallowing 1 million to 2 million times, how to speed up the development of the airport and make the airport play a better role in economic leverage and bridges is a common concern. The problem.

"Big branch line, small trunk line" airport development difficulties

The airport with annual passenger throughput of 1 million to 2 million passengers should belong to the trunk airport according to civil aviation standards, but compared with other provincial airports that belong to the mainline airport, the scale is obviously small, and at best it can only be regarded as the "small trunk line" airport. Compared with the regional airports with a throughput of less than 500,000 passengers, it is definitely a "big branch" airport. It is also because of the transitional layer from the regional airport to the trunk airport. It is difficult to form an effective competition with other trunk airports. The failure to include the support of the regional airport policy is difficult to develop. With the industry generally maintaining a double-digit growth rate, the airport growth rate of 1 million to 2 million passengers is not satisfactory, and the development speed is relatively lagging behind.

First, the route layout of the route is unreasonable. Judging from the current situation of China's airport operations, the current domestic passenger flow is still highly concentrated in the three major hub airports of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and a few key routes. In addition, the airport airspace resources are tight and the flight schedule is limited. It is very difficult to apply for encrypted flights, resulting in “very difficult”. Large branch lines and small trunk lines have serious shortages in airport utilization, and most of them are in a state of loss. It can be seen that its route network is mainly concentrated in the three hub airports and airports with passenger throughput of over 10 million passengers, showing the typical characteristics of “East Mississippi”. There are fewer routes in North China, Southwest China and Northwest China. reasonable. In 2007, the Civil Aviation Administration stated in the "Several Opinions on Promoting the Development of Small Airports": "For small flights to small cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, in principle, two flight times are guaranteed every day; small airports are straight. Fly to the provincial capital airport or regional hub airport to guarantee at least two flight times per day. When determining the flight time, give due consideration to giving a better time." This is a major initiative to support the development of small and medium airports. However, there are many difficulties in the actual implementation process. Since the airline application right is in the airline, considering the weak profitability of small and medium-sized airports, airlines generally choose regional hub airports and provincial airports with passenger throughput of more than 8 million passengers.

Second, the adjustment of airline capacity is not optimistic. When adjusting the capacity, airlines will focus on the layout of central cities and provincial capital cities, marginalizing small and medium-sized cities, and reducing the capacity of small and medium-sized airports. In addition, due to geographical and economic development restrictions, airlines can make full use of their marginal benefits. They often use the better time of day to fly major hubs and trunk airports to meet the travel needs of business FITs, and then use the evening flight. All small and medium airports. This has caused some small and medium-sized airports to be extremely crowded at night, and the peak hour passengers are extremely crowded. Secondly, some small and medium-sized airports such as Xishuangbanna, Jiuzhai, Zhangjiajie and other airports are typical tourist airports. Most of them are located in economically underdeveloped areas. The passengers are relatively simple. Most of the guests are tourist groups, and there are fewer high-end business guests. Flight yields are lower than other routes. Therefore, the willingness and motivation of airlines to operate and cultivate flights to small and medium-sized airports are obviously insufficient.

Third, it is greatly affected by the impact of ground transportation. In recent years, China's infrastructure construction is huge. The roads and railways in the areas where small and medium-sized airports are located are becoming more and more convenient, which has caused great impact on air transportation. The first is the impact of high-speed rail on civil aviation. From the perspective of passenger flow, the high-speed rail has the greatest impact on civil aviation within 500 km, followed by 500-800 km high-speed rail and 1500 km or more. Most of the small and medium-sized airports have long-distance routes ranging from 600 km to 800 km, so the high-speed rail has the biggest impact on small and medium-sized airports. Secondly, the rapid development of the expressway has led to an increase in the number of self-driving tourists entering the tourist area, diverting a large number of air passengers. Taking Zhangjiajie Hehua Airport (referred to as “Zhangjiajie Airport” for example), since the opening of Changzhang Expressway and Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway, some traditional high-quality routes such as Changsha and Guangzhou have faced heavy blows. The Changsha flight has been reduced from the original two shifts per day to the current daily shift. The Guangzhou route has been reduced from four shifts per day to two shifts per day, and the passenger load factor is low, but before the expressway and high-speed rail were opened, the two routes were The passenger load factor can be maintained above 80%, which shows that the rapid impact of ground transportation has a great impact on small and medium airports.

Fourth, it is highly dependent on the local economy. According to ICAO research statistics, the annual passenger throughput of regional airports is below 500,000, and the annual passenger throughput of trunk airports is less than 2 million. It does not have the capability of self-development. The development of local economy has created the demand for air transportation and is the basic incentive for the development of airport construction. More than 130 airports in the country are losing money. Without the support of local governments, the amount of losses is far more than 16 billion. Therefore, the development of the airport is restricted by the economic level within a certain geographical area. The airport and the local economy provide each other with power and support. The development of domestic airports is closely related to economic development both in quantity and scale. On August 18, 1994, Zhangjiajie Airport was officially opened to traffic. In the second year of navigation, eight routes including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, and Shenzhen were opened. A large number of tourists came one after another, and the airport-driven effect immediately appeared. With the rapid development of the tourism market in Zhangjiajie City, the airport transportation production has also grown rapidly. The passenger throughput has increased at an average annual rate of 22.8%, from 136,200 in 1995 to nearly 1.6 million in 2005. The 34th place in airport passenger throughput. However, since 2005, due to the relative lag of the airport infrastructure and the small apron, the Bureau has restricted the flow of the peak hours of the Zhangjiajie Airport to 10 times for safety reasons. Coupled with the impact of the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008 and the world financial crisis, the annual passenger throughput of the airport has been stagnating and even falling. It can be seen that the tourist airport has weak anti-risk ability, and the airport development encounters a “bottleneck”. The production and operation faces many difficulties and it is urgent to plan a new development path.

"Big branch line, small trunk line" airport development road

With the accelerating globalization of the world economy, air transport has become the first transportation with its efficient and fast features. The demand for air transportation is also growing rapidly. With the rapid growth of air traffic, it is objectively required that the construction and management of China's civil aviation airports should have appropriate development. Just like many countries in the world today, the domestic “big” The development of the airport and the small trunk line is also facing various difficulties. How to further optimize the flight structure of the airport route, improve the management level, and improve the operation quality of the airport to meet the growth demand of air transportation is an important issue before us.

First, efforts were made to improve the flight structure of the route. First of all, on the basis of consolidating the existing routes, the airlines will be subsidized for the newly opened, restored and encrypted routes of the airlines; with the airlines opening or encrypting the routes to the secondary hubs or the nearest provincial capital airports, all the provinces and cities will be fully navigated and The route network structure of encrypted flights in key cities. On this basis, we can also cooperate with airlines to open up some potential point-to-point direct flights. The development of the branch line in Yunnan, China is also the way to go. Eight branch airports in Xishuangbanna, Mangshi, Simao, Baoshan, Zhaotong, Lijiang, Dali and Diqing in Yunnan Province. Since the 90-year navigation, the axis-radio route network centered on Kunming has gradually formed. Since then, due to the development of tourism, Yunnan Airlines has successively opened the point-to-point route from Xishuangbanna to Dali and Lijiang and Kunming since 1998. Dali - Zhongdian (Diqing)'s air route. After the route was opened, the operation was very good. Secondly, the application right of the route should be given to the airport with reference to the American model. It should learn from the mode of railway and highway construction and operation, and allow small and medium-sized airports to independently apply for routes and have their management rights. In this way, small airports can make full use of resources and cooperate with airlines in various forms to reduce the route development cost of small and medium airports and reduce the pressure on small and medium airports in route development.

The second is the breach of charter and low-cost aviation. The first is to closely contact low-cost airlines to jointly develop routes. As we all know, low-cost aviation mainly covers the short-haul aviation market from point to point, which fits well with short-haul routes in domestic small and medium-sized airports. Therefore, in the short-term, small and medium-sized airports can directly learn from some foreign cheap airports and provide low-cost airlines with low prices. Differential service. Many economists and aviation professionals at home and abroad believe that China has many advantages in developing low-cost aviation, and the market prospect is broad. In recent years, more and more airports at home and abroad have extended their olive branches to low-cost airlines, and some even built special terminals for them, such as Marseille Airport in France, Kuala Lumpur Airport in Malaysia, Singapore Airport, Zhengzhou Airport and Xiamen Airport. Secondly, in the case of difficulties in the approval of flights, it is necessary to use the charter flights as a breakthrough to seek new developments in small and medium airports. Through regular symposiums and other forms of contact with travel agencies, charter operators, etc., jointly expand the air transport market, provide more cheap and fast choices for the general public, and promote the healthy development of small and medium airports.

The third is to further optimize or shorten the process. According to the data, the probability of passengers choosing regional aviation will exceed 20% only when the ground transportation time exceeds 4 hours of regional aviation and above, and the probability will exceed 30% over 6 hours. Therefore, time is one of the most important reasons that affect passengers' choice of empty roads. Reducing the processing time, enhancing competitiveness, and achieving the shortest connection time (referring to the minimum time required for passengers to arrive from the arrival flight time to the departure time of the departure flight) is an important measure for small and medium-sized airports to compete with high-speed rail and high-speed competition. Small and medium-sized airports should make full use of urban ground transportation to achieve seamless integration with other modes of transportation, and take advantage of comprehensive transportation to shorten passengers' time in and out of the airport. At the same time, small and medium-sized airports can also work hard to optimize ground-based process services, and cooperate with airlines to shorten the time for passengers to check-in and security checks to reduce passenger waiting time at the airport. Shandong Airlines Co., Ltd. (Shangong Airlines Co., Ltd., referred to as “Shanghang”) started the “Shull Flight Fast Track” service at Dalian Zhoushuizi International Airport, Qingdao Liuting International Airport and Linyi Airport in June 1999. Instructive. The main contents of the service include: passengers can arrive at the airport within 20 minutes before the plane takes off, check in all the procedures, and board the plane 5 minutes before closing the hatch. This is a one-to-one-and-a-half-hour plan to check in the passengers. It takes about one hour to save the opportunity. It directly opens up the competitive advantage with high-speed rail and high-speed.

The fourth is to actively explore the road to meet the development of the airport itself. Numerous experiences around the world have proven that the development of airports is inseparable from the contributions of airlines, especially al-Qaeda. Airlines are the most basic users and most important customers of the airport. Base airlines are more important to the development of the airport. Therefore, small and medium-sized airports need to unite with local governments to increase policy support, do a good job in various services, and strive for one or two base airlines to enter the airport; broaden investment financing channels, diversify investment entities, and establish government-led, commercialized operations. The industrialization development model that the corporate legal person is responsible for. Mobilize the enthusiasm of relevant enterprises to solve the problem of small and medium-sized airport construction funds, encourage and attract enterprises to invest in the construction of airports and operate airport business in areas with rich tourism resources and optimistic development prospects, realize the overall profit of comprehensive development, form a community of economic interests; The airport is fully cooperative, complementary and seamlessly connected. Macau Airport is currently cooperating with Guangzhou Airport and Haikou Airport. Drawing on advanced management experience, introducing domestic and foreign strategic investors will help the airport to establish a modern enterprise system and form a relationship with property rights. Modern enterprises with diversified investment systems continue to improve the management level of the airport.

"big branch line, small trunk line" airport development worry

With the sustained and rapid development of the national economy, the domestic civil aviation industry has entered a stage of rapid development. Domestic small and medium-sized airports have also ushered in rare opportunities for development. However, with the rapid growth of civil aviation, the pace of development of small and medium-sized airports has appeared relative. The slow trend is worrying.

First, the flight time of the three major hub airports is seriously insufficient. Due to the current imbalance in the development of domestic airports, the small and medium-sized airport routes have lower yields, and the airlines have placed major capacity on the hub airports for the benefit of the interests, resulting in tight hub airport flights. In the summer and autumn of 2010, Beijing Capital International Airport's peak hour capacity has increased to an average of 83 flights per hour, close to the maximum saturated capacity, and there is no possibility of increasing flights. The small and medium-sized airports in the transitional layer have a relatively small customer base and are highly concentrated in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. At the same time, the above-mentioned cities are also the main source of tourists for the tourist airports, so the opening and encryption of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and other routes have become Important support for the development of small and medium airports. At the same time, due to the monopoly of major airlines in the application of flight time, small airlines are difficult to enter, and the small and medium-sized airports are far from the standard of every 300,000 people in the industry to arrange a flight into the above-mentioned airports, resulting in no source of capacity. situation. In addition, the three major airlines have stopped approving the charter business, which is undoubtedly unfavorable for increasing the passengers of small and medium-sized airports. The development of small and medium-sized airports is frustrated. In particular, small and medium-sized tourist airports are the most affected, and the development space is severely limited. The prospects are not optimistic.

Second, the cost of production and operation management remains high. The civil aviation industry generally believes that the theoretical profit point of civil airports should be 2 million passengers per year. However, most of the small and medium-sized airports have smaller construction scales in the first phase, and the passenger throughput is far greater than the design throughput. Only the expansion and expansion can meet the needs. In the case of annual passenger throughput, the loss of small and medium-sized airports below 2 million is a certain set. Small and medium-sized airports, especially tourist airports, most of the flights are concentrated in the evening, which leads to increased airport management costs. In addition, the investment in the later period will be upgraded to a large increase in airport depreciation expenses. The airport faces enormous operational pressures without a significant increase in passenger volume. If there is no certain base flight to support, and there is no local government subsidy, it is impossible for the airport development to go up the stairs.

Third, the positioning of public welfare infrastructure is difficult to achieve. The Civil Airport Management Regulations have clarified that the airport is a public welfare infrastructure. But such positioning has never been recognized. The reason is that at present, small and medium-sized airports are generally corporatized operations and management, and local governments regard them as enterprises. Second, most of the domestic small and medium-sized airports are directly managed by the airport group. After the airport losses, the local government subsidy base is not satisfactory. Therefore, it is necessary to further deepen and promote the localized management of the airport, strengthen communication with local governments, and truly determine the public welfare positioning of small and medium-sized airports. The loss will be borne by the government in order to fundamentally solve the problem of survival and development of small and medium-sized airports.

Fourth, the indirect impact of high-speed rail has gradually emerged. According to China's Medium- and Long-Term Railway Network Plan, China Railway's “four vertical and four horizontal” high-speed passenger lines will be completed in 2020. The high-speed rail network can cover 45% of China's civil aviation routes and 65% of the passenger transportation market, which will be given to the air transportation market. Bring unprecedented pressure. Wuhan has greatly increased the number of trains from Nanjing to Shanghai, and has already stopped flights from Nanjing to Wuhan. Due to the opening of Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway, flights from Changsha to Guangzhou have also decreased significantly. The Zhengzhou-Xi’an flight has been suspended due to the impact of the Zhengxi high-speed railway. fly. While the high-speed rail has caused a huge impact on the opening of the city's air transport market, the indirect impact on some unsold small and medium-sized cities has gradually emerged. As mentioned above, the small and medium-sized airports with annual passenger throughputs of 1 million to 2 million are mostly tourist airports. The tourists are mostly tourists, and most of the passengers are group tourists organized by travel agencies. After the high-speed rail is opened to the surrounding big cities, the travel agency will choose a cheaper high-speed rail and high-speed transportation mode for the purpose of comprehensive cost consideration during the group travel, thus diverting the flow of small and medium-sized airports and affecting the development of small and medium-sized airports. For example, Zhangjiajie Airport, although there is no direct access to high-speed rail, the opening of Wuhan-Guangzhou high-speed railway has changed the way passengers enter and leave Zhangjiajie. Travel agencies play a vital role in expanding the source of small and medium-sized tourist airports. Let's take Guangzhou's group tourists as an example. From Guangzhou, take the high-speed train to Changsha, every 20 minutes, the ordinary fare is 333 yuan. Then take a tourist bus from Changsha to Zhangjiajie via high speed, the total cost is about 400 yuan. In Guangzhou, the direct flights to Zhangjiajie have a maximum of three flights during the peak season. The ticket price plus fuel surcharge is about 1,000 yuan, and the minimum price is 640 yuan. Compared with the two, the travel agency has driven the high-speed railway with relatively low cost as the travel mode.

2011 is the first year of the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan”. During the “Twelfth Five-Year Plan” period, civil aviation will increase its investment and further build a reasonable airport network system. The airport industry will also usher in a new round of development, which is bound to be For the development of small and medium-sized airports, the wings of soaring will be inserted, and finally the airport industry will develop rapidly and rapidly.

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