The Federal Government Office in Taipei, Taiwan, has agreed to grant NT$60bn (US$2.02bn) to Taoyuan International Airport Corp (TIAC) to cover the airport’s short-term expenses over the next four years in response to continuing revenue disappointments caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to media reports, the airport operator filed the request because it needed NT$150bn (US$5bn) to fund its construction projects. The airport’s funding difficulties are due to the strict entry policy imposed by the Central Epidemic Command Center to contain Covid-19 – and the resultant record low passenger footfall of 909,000 passengers in 2021. The Taipei Times reported that TIAC’s financial losses totaled NT$11.3bn (US$381m) in 2021 and the company has taken loans of more than NT$10bn (US$337m) to fund its daily operations.
TIAC told the newspaper, “These projects would help upgrade Taoyuan Airport’s capacity so it can become an important air hub in East Asia, which would serve as a significant indicator of Taiwan’s competitiveness. Our assessment was that we would need government assistance in the short term to build the third terminal and third runway. These facilities would help facilitate the recovery of Taiwan’s economy and tourism industry in the post-pandemic era.”
Once construction is completed in 2025, the new terminal will be equipped to serve up to 45 million passengers per year. It will have 21 aircraft parking spaces near jet bridges and five remote aircraft spaces, enabling it to accommodate 80 to 90 aircraft per hour, up from 50 per hour at present with only two runways.