– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community
PHUKET: Hong Kong International Airport, one of the world’s busiest airports, handled a single-day record of 1,057 incoming and outbound flights late last week, aviation authorities announced on yesterday.
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department of Hong Kong (CAD) said the airport handled 1,057 incoming and outbound flights on Friday, setting a new daily record. It also handled 1,041 flight movements on Saturday. The previous single-day record of 1,003 flight movements was set in late April 2011.
“The Civil Aviation Department is encouraged by this new movement record and its smooth air traffic operation,” a CAD spokesman said on Monday. “As usual, CAD’s Air Traffic Management Division has deployed additional staff to cater for the seasonal demands. We are always committed to ensure a safe and efficient Air Traffic Service to the travelling public.”
CAD attributed the increase in flight movements to the increased demand during the Chinese New Year, which is the year’s biggest holiday in Hong Kong and China. Most of the extra flights were to destinations across Northeast and Southeast Asia. The most popular destinations were the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, the South Korean capital of Seoul and the Japanese city of Sapporo.
Last year, Hong Kong International Airport handled a total of 333,758 aircraft movements with a daily average of 914 movements. The figures represented an increase of 8.9 percent compared with the same period in 2010.
To put the scale in perspective, Phuket International Airport for 2010 saw daily average aircraft movements of 74. Hong International Airport showed passenger traffic (throughput, or the total of in and out) of 48 million; Phuket recorded about 7 million.
Wikipedia, citing passenger traffic data from Airports Council International for the first ten months of 2011 (latest available), shows Hong Kong as Number 11 and Beijing as Number 2.
Other notable entries include Atlanta, Georgia (USA) as Number !; Heathrow, Number 3; Chicago’s O’Hare (4), Bangkok’s Suvarnaphumi, (17); Singapore, 18; and Kuala Lumpur, 21.
— Phuket Gazette Editors
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