Taoyuan airport to brace for crowds during Lunar New Year holiday

Taipei-Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, the country's largest airport, has started to plan contingency measures as it prepares to welcome hundreds of thousands of travelers over the traditionally hectic Chinese New Year holiday.

The airport currently serves about 110,000-120,000 passengers a day but has breached the 130,000 mark on peak travel days during the Lunar New Year period over the past two years, said Lee Jian-kuo, spokesman for Taoyuan International Airport Corp. (TIAC), the airport operator.

Lee predicts that this year, traffic will peak one or two days ahead of the Lunar New Year's Eve.

For that reason the company is drafting plans to deal with crowded check-in and security lines during the upcoming peak travel season, Lee said.

The airport processed 44.88 million passengers last year, up 6 percent year-on-year and about 10 million more than its current capacity, according to the latest data released by the Civil Aeronautics Administration.

Annual passenger traffic at the airport topped 40 million on Dec. 13, 2016, the first time in the facility's 37-year history, with the figure reaching 42.3 million by the end of that year.

However, the airport's Terminal 1 is capable of handling 15 million passengers a year and Terminal 2 about 19 million, after the partial completion of its expansion last year, which comes to an annual capacity of 34 million passengers.

Although the capacity of Terminal 2 is expected to rise to 22 million per year after the expansion is completed this year, the airport is still unable to meet the rapidly growing passenger volume, TIAC said.

Work is underway on Terminal 3 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020 to meet the growing demand and relieve congestion at the two existing terminals, according to TIAC.

Source: Overseas Community Affairs Council