We reported yesterday on Zhuhai planning an airport expansionwith an investment of RMB4.8 billion. If we had waited a day, we would have seen the city’s much bigger picture: the airport is only part of a plan to build an “aerotropolis”.
It will be called the Zhuhai Airport Economy Zone. With the Zhuhai Jinwan International Airport at its center, the zone covers 20km in radius and includes another smaller airport, the newly built Lianzhou Airport, 40km to the northeast.
According to the masterplan, the Zhuhai Airport Economy Zone has three priorities:
Developing an aviation industry which includes air freight, general aviation, freight maintenance, bonded area logistics and cross-border ecommerce;
Establishing and upgrading three industrial clusters: next-generation information technology, biopharmaceutical, new energy and smart manufacturing;
Expanding aviation-related modern services industries including meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, tourism and big health, and aviation technology.
The area surrounding the Zhuhai Jinwan International Airport will be divided into six sections: aviation core, aviation high-end services, airport urban service, advanced manufacturing, aviation-related advanced manufacturing, and general aviation.
It will serve the two economic belts of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge (HZMB) and Hengqin, while connecting the Lianzhou Airport on an north/south axis, according to local media. The unstated ambition is, of course, to serve the growth of a large-scale tourism industry in the Zhuhai-Macau region, which is being built in Hengqin and Macau’s Cotai district.