San Francisco, Aug. 1997 - According to the Airports Council International (ACI), Pacific Asia airports registered a 6.9 percent combined growth in passenger throughput in 1996. Although this was still above the world average of 6.1 percent - and it compared with 6.2 percent for European airports and 6.3 percent for North America - it was well down on the 19.1 percent growth recorded in 1995.
One possible explanation for the trend voiced by a number of aviation observers is that deregulation in the rest of the world could be causing a slowdown in growth, and therefore loss of market share, for nonderegulating Asia.
Despite a modest 0.8 percent increase, Tokyo's Haneda airport attracted the highest share of passengers in 1996 - 46.6 million domestic and international - ahead of Seoul, Hong Kong, Tokyo's Narita and Singapore. However, it should be noted that some airports in the top 20 ranking are absent due to lack of detailed figures.
Among the top 10, the best increases in passenger throughput were achieved by Kuala Lumpur and Seoul but some smaller airports, like Kaohsiung and Perth, performed even better.
If domestic airline passengers are excluded from the count, Hong Kong heads the ranking (with 29.5 million international passengers), followed by Tokyo's Narita (24.6 million), Singapore (23.1 million), Bangkok (16.4 million) and Seoul (14.7 million).
In terms of air transport movements at the different airports, Sydney
was number one in 1996 with 275,000. Seoul followed in second place with
215,000 ahead of Tokyo's Haneda (202,000), Singapore (167,000) and Jakarta's
Soekarno Hatta (162,000). Manila, Pusan and Taipei achieved the strongest
growth in air transport movements.