Jul 03, 2018 09:24

More airports needed for improved global connectivity among BRI countries

World Transport Convention 2018 WTC BRITS
Mr Liew delivering the keynote address at the recent Belt and Road International Transport Symposium.

Many countries have under-appreciated and under-built airports, resulting in a deficit in airport infrastructure that is inadequate in meeting increasing passenger demand, particularly in Asia and in many BRI countries that will see some of the strongest growth in the next two decades.

Surbana Jurong Chairman Liew Mun Leong shared this and other views on airport infrastructure at a keynote address at the recent Belt and Road International Transport Symposium (BRITS), a key forum of the World Transport Convention (WTC) 2018 held in Beijing on 20 June. WTC 2018 was hosted by the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), China’s Ministry of Transport (MOT) and Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), and organised by the China Highway and Transport Society (CHTS). The event, in its second year running, was well attended by over 5,000 officials, academics and executives involved in transport planning, engineering and technology.

In his speech titled “Airports – Crucial Infrastructure in Enhancing Global Connectivity Amongst BRI Countries”, Mr Liew shared his insights on the importance of airport infrastructure in enhancing connectivity and promoting economic progress. He highlighted the urgent need to build more airport infrastructure to cater to the booming air travel demand. In addition, he suggested that the contrarian economic principle of “Supply Driving Demand” was particularly relevant for the aviation industry due to the lengths of time required to plan, design and build an airport. Mr Liew also encouraged countries along the BRI to make use of the varied sources of infrastructure funding to expand their airport infrastructure, and engage private-sector partners with deep airport development expertise to help expand present airport capacities.