Macao, Macau, China
Equipment and Infrastructures
With the opening of the airport in 1995, Macau conquered the third frontier, that of the air. Scheduled flights between Portugal and Macau were established 71 years after the first Lisbon-Macau flight and the territory gained full autonomy in its connection with the exterior and assumed its international vocation. The symbol of the huge undertakings of the last ten years of the Portuguese administration, 2.5 million passengers and 160,000 tons of cargo passed through the airport in the first year of its activity. It was a daunting challenge for all the experts, consultants and contractors involved in the work, one of the biggest undertakings in Asia in the 20th century, from a technical point of view.
The 3,360-metre runway was built on reclaimed land near Taipa, an artificial island conceived for large aircraft. The apron was designed for twenty aircraft. Besides this, the fact that it was operational 24 hours a day made it competitive with respect to Hong Kong airport, which lay only 60 kilometres away. Indeed, the airport functions as an interface serving Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and other points in the Asia-Pacific region.
The programme for the airport was articulated with the construction of the maritime terminal built for passengers on their way to Hong Kong. Lying near Taipa Island, the airport and the city of Macau are linked by the fantastic Macau-Taipa Bridge, known as the Friendship Bridge.