B1168
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Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:26 pm

Pearl River Delta Airspace—will it be enough?

Mon May 20, 2019 11:51 pm

Please delete if posted elsewhere recently.

Now that the 3rd runway construction in HKG has begun, and voice for 3rd runway in SZX nearby are rising, I wonder if the Pearl River Delta’s limited airspace can allow that to happen. There are already considerable amount of delay whenever the slightest weather conditions hit, which makes me wonder: Will HKG and SZX both get the 3rd runway they see as needed? Will there be sufficient airspace reserve for ZUH’s new terminal and goal of 20 million passenger transpored? Will the Nansha district executive airport in Guangzhou be canceled in favor of a connection to Zhuhai Airport via connection to existing Guangzhou-Zhuhai Intercity rail or Shenzhen airport across the Pearl River?
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2446
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Pearl River Delta Airspace—will it be enough?

Tue May 21, 2019 12:21 am

Well, I wouldn't comment on the situation further north since I don't know enough. But one of the main points for opposition to HKG's 3rd runway has been the fact that it doesn't do as much as it does on paper due to the altitude restriction for arriving flights, i.e. flights has to be above 10000ft (I don't remember the exact number) before reaching Hong Kong FIR.

Ultimately, it's one thing that the central gov't talk about all these "Greater Bay Area" BS, it's another when they can't even collaborate with each other on airspace issue. The airspace is going to get more crowded anyway, regardless of whether SZX get the 3rd runway, whether they build another new airport near Guangzhou (The planned airport near Gaoming district between Foshan and Jiangmen), or perhaps the eventual lifting of "domestic only" restriction on ZUH.
 
B1168
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Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:26 pm

Re: Pearl River Delta Airspace—will it be enough?

Tue May 21, 2019 12:33 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
Well, I wouldn't comment on the situation further north since I don't know enough. But one of the main points for opposition to lHKG's 3rd runway has been the fact that it doesn't do as much as it does on paper due to the altitude restriction for arriving flights, i.e. flights has to be above 10000ft (I don't remember the exact number) before reaching Hong Kong FIR.
To
Ultimately, it's one thing that the central gov't talk about all these "Greater Bay Area" BS, it's another when they can't even collaborate with each other on airspace issue. The airspace is going to get more crowded anyway, regardless of whether SZX get the 3rd runway, whether they build another new airport near Guangzhou (The planned airport near Gaoming district between Foshan and Jiangmen), or perhaps the eventual lifting of "domestic only" restriction on ZUH.


I honestly agree. The central government has difficulties asserting controversial infrastructure projects, and any attempt to put the airspace of the greater Bay Area can cause unexpected spikes on issues like “high autonomy of HK and Macau” being “sabotaged”, considering their reactions during the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong HSR construction. That can effectively cause the government to just forfeit part of their plans...... they put it this way themselves.

ZUH never have a “domestic restriction”. The only issue is demand, for the bridge allow easy access to TONS of international flights to Hong Kong, and until the rail to ZUH is completed(by 2024?), HKG remain advantageous for locals.

Also, the real clogged-up part of the Greater Bay Area is actually south, so Foshan or Gaoming’s airspace doesn’t have such an impact. Honestly, excluding existing Foshan airport’s go around route too close to CAN final route and the Cencun military airport, there isn’t much it need to concern about.
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2446
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Pearl River Delta Airspace—will it be enough?

Tue May 21, 2019 2:15 pm

B1168 wrote:
I honestly agree. The central government has difficulties asserting controversial infrastructure projects, and any attempt to put the airspace of the greater Bay Area can cause unexpected spikes on issues like “high autonomy of HK and Macau” being “sabotaged”, considering their reactions during the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong HSR construction. That can effectively cause the government to just forfeit part of their plans...... they put it this way themselves.


I would argue that it's the Chinese side that is somewhat the problem for HKG airspace, though. It's more complicated than "sabotaging autonomy" anyway as IIRC part of the airspace restriction, like elsewhere in mainland, has to do with PLA - i.e. good luck having the military lifting some of those restrictions.

The HSR construction along with the border control "issue" is pure politics anyway - I would argue that if US is going to put a preclearance in HKG airport, those same politicians will quickly accept that :).

As for ZUH - for some reason I keep thinking that they don't have border control at the airport. But Google search did reveal that there are occasional international charters in and out of the airport, so you're correct. It's insane how fast that airport is growing anyway, from 2.5M pax in 2013 to >10M now.

On the other hand, ZUH is managed by a JV between HK Airport Authority and Zhuhai gov't, so I doubt HKAA themselves would want even more international "competition" in the PRD area :).
 
B1168
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Posts: 464
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:26 pm

Re: Pearl River Delta Airspace—will it be enough?

Tue May 21, 2019 8:56 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
B1168 wrote:
I honestly agree. The central government has difficulties asserting controversial infrastructure projects, and any attempt to put the airspace of the greater Bay Area can cause unexpected spikes on issues like “high autonomy of HK and Macau” being “sabotaged”, considering their reactions during the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong HSR construction. That can effectively cause the government to just forfeit part of their plans...... they put it this way themselves.


I would argue that it's the Chinese side that is somewhat the problem for HKG airspace, though. It's more complicated than "sabotaging autonomy" anyway as IIRC part of the airspace restriction, like elsewhere in mainland, has to do with PLA - i.e. good luck having the military lifting some of those restrictions.

The HSR construction along with the border control "issue" is pure politics anyway - I would argue that if US is going to put a preclearance in HKG airport, those same politicians will quickly accept that :).

As for ZUH - for some reason I keep thinking that they don't have border control at the airport. But Google search did reveal that there are occasional international charters in and out of the airport, so you're correct. It's insane how fast that airport is growing anyway, from 2.5M pax in 2013 to >10M now.

On the other hand, ZUH is managed by a JV between HK Airport Authority and Zhuhai gov't, so I doubt HKAA themselves would want even more international "competition" in the PRD area :).


Yeah, politics and local geography aside, PLAAF airspace management can constitute some issues. For example, I suspect if the fact that all planes bounding for SZX from north have to detour over CAN have something to do with Cencun Air Base... that is not great, to say the least.

ZUH indeed has seen impressive growth——in fact, a new terminal has been on the way. If ZUH continue its growth, maybe CA or CZ will be sufficiently interested to base a few aircrafts there and fly some international tourism routes i.e. Bangkok. I can’t say for CZ, but given CA’s consistent ability to override CAAC rulings, won’t be surprised at that either.
 
zakuivcustom
Posts: 2446
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:32 am

Re: Pearl River Delta Airspace—will it be enough?

Tue May 21, 2019 9:38 pm

B1168 wrote:
ZUH indeed has seen impressive growth——in fact, a new terminal has been on the way. If ZUH continue its growth, maybe CA or CZ will be sufficiently interested to base a few aircrafts there and fly some international tourism routes i.e. Bangkok. I can’t say for CZ, but given CA’s consistent ability to override CAAC rulings, won’t be surprised at that either.


It's true that if ZUH continue to grow, it's a matter of time before they'll have to get some international capacity in there. Macau would not like that, though.

Plus, for me, a coordination of airports is definitely in the work in PRD area if the central gov't wants to push the "Greater Bay Area" idea further. Last thing they want is to have all 4 airports relatively close by (ZUH, MFM, HKG, SZX) serving the same traffic, compete heavily with each other, and make the PRD airspace issue even worse. At the end of the day, one of the idea behind "Greater Bay Area" is for cities/regions to collaborate with each other and further strengthening what they're good at instead of fighting each other out over the same thing, i.e. HK will be the international financial and aviation center of the region, Guangzhou being the trade hub along with transportation hub to the rest of PRC (and beyond), Shenzhen being the tech/research hub, and Macau being the international leisure/tourism hub along with the center of China-Lusophone (Portuguese speaking) community relations. Even something as simple as "Should they let SZX continue to get way more long-haul international flights" is somewhat of a sticky issue right now - Shenzhen gov't obviously want more; HKAA obvious doesn't (Since it would take traffic away from HKG); in the middle it involved utilizing limited resources (i.e. airspace) while trying to keep everyone happy.

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