Author: Lin Xiaozhao

Recently, with the approval of the General Department of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, the name of Jiayuguan Airport was changed to "Jiayuguan Jiuquan Airport". The phenomenon of two cities jointly naming an airport is a cause for concern.

Previously, on March 3, some netizens posted airport boarding screens and ticket information on social platforms, showing that "Sunan Shuofang Airport" was marked as "Wuxi Suzhou Airport". For a time, "Suzhou Airport" rushed to the top of the hot search. The official Weibo of Sunan Shuofang International Airport released a message that "Sunan Shuofang Airport" has not changed its name. The airport three-character code has not changed, it is still WUX.

In any case, there are more and more phenomena of two cities jointly naming an airport, which is not only the consideration of airport planning and layout, opening up passenger sources, but also the choice of local group development and accelerated regional development.

Many places now have an airport named after two cities

Jiayuguan Jiuquan Airport, which was officially renamed, is located 10 kilometers northeast of Jiayuguan City, 13 kilometers away from Jiayuguan City and 22 kilometers away from Jiuquan City.

This year, Jiayuguan Jiuquan Airport will usher in large-scale reconstruction and expansion, which can meet the target of 2030.160 million passenger throughput, 1,15181 tons of cargo and mail throughput, and <>,<> aircraft takeoffs and landings in <>, providing an important basic guarantee for the high-quality economic and social development of Jiujia area and even Gansu.

The name of an airport has a big impact on the choice of travelers. "After the name change, it can be better recognized for travelers." Li Xiaojin, a senior expert in civil aviation, told First Finance and Economics.

In addition to Jiayuguan Jiuquan Airport, there have been many airports named after one city and two airports. For example, Yangzhou Taizhou Airport, which opened in 1, is located within the jurisdiction of Yangzhou City, but it is only about 2012 kilometers away from the main city of Taizhou and about 20 kilometers away from the main city of Yangzhou. A major background here is that the prefecture-level city of Taizhou was split from Yangzhou in 30. The distance between the two central areas is itself relatively close.

Xi'an Xianyang International Airport is one of the top ten airports in China, located in Dizhang Street, Weicheng District, Xianyang City, belonging to Xixian New District, with the Xixian New Area being handed over to Xi'an in 2017, the airport has also entered the administrative scope of Xi'an City. In terms of spatial distance, the airport is 25 kilometers away from the urban area of Xi'an, the largest city in the west. It is 19 kilometers from the urban area of Xianyang, the second largest city in Shaanxi.

Tongren Phoenix Airport is located at the junction of Daxing Town, Songtao Miao Autonomous County, Tongren City, Guizhou Province and Fenghuang County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan Province, the main body is located in Tongren City, part of the runway is in Fenghuang County, the airport is 22 kilometers southwest of Tongren City Center, Guizhou Hunan Shared Airport. It is 28 kilometers away from the county seat of Fenghuang County in the northeast.

Wuhu Xuanzhou Airport, referred to as Wuxuan Airport, which was only opened in 2021, is located in Wanzhu Town, Wanzhu District, Wuhu City and Yangxian Township, Xuanzhou District, Xuancheng City, Wuhu City and Xuancheng City jointly built a shared airport, 38 kilometers away from Wuhu city center in the northwest and 19.5 kilometers away from Xuanzhou District in the southeast. Among them, Xuancheng was called Xuanzhou in ancient times, and Xuanzhou District is the only municipal district of Xuancheng, a prefecture-level city, and is the location of the central urban area of Xuancheng.

Jieyang Chaoshan International Airport in Jieyang, Guangdong, is located in the center of the three cities of Jieyang, Shantou and Chaozhou, these three cities belong to the Chaoshan area of eastern Guangdong, originally one family, in 1991, Shantou was divided into three, the central urban area of the three cities after the separation is not far from each other.

Consideration of "huddling" to build an airport

So, what are the main reasons behind this kind of city's joint naming airport, or even joint construction of airports? Li Xiaojin said that this approach can be better coordinated from the perspective of airspace resources, and second, it can be more intensive in terms of land resources. Third, in terms of market resources, it can be more effective.

Among them, improving operational efficiency based on customer source considerations is an important aspect. For central cities with large urban populations and developed service industries, there are enough customers. However, for many prefecture-level cities with a small population size, these cities themselves are far from the airports of large cities and have certain air travel needs, but this demand may not be so large, and if an airport has not enough passengers and fewer routes, then the driving effect on the place is obviously relatively limited.

Zhao Jian, a professor at the School of Economics and Management of Beijing Jiaotong University, analyzed that through the joint naming of airports, it can enhance its influence and serve two cities at the same time. Therefore, the airport emphasizes the service function of this area through joint naming.

Niu Fengrui, president of the Small and Medium-sized Cities Research Institute, analyzed that an airport must have a basic passenger flow to maintain, which is a factor that must be considered in the airport layout, such as how large is the radiation radius of the airport? How much footfall? It's cost-effective to build in this way. For an airport jointly named and jointly built, the more passengers, the more routes, the more routes, the wider the area that this place can directly reach, and the radius of personnel and material exchanges will be greatly expanded, which is also conducive to the development of the regional economy and is a win-win situation for the two cities.

Niu Fengrui said that from the perspective of regional development, a place with an airport and no airport is very different, with an airport, the city's external exchange radius will be very different. The larger the radius of foreign exchanges and the lower the transaction cost for the development of a region, it will have a stronger positive impetus for the economic and social development of the region.

In other words, an airport is a huge traffic entrance for a place. The joint construction of airports and joint naming will not only help airports and airlines improve transportation efficiency, improve efficiency, and open up more routes, but also help cities expand the radius of radiation and exchange, thereby driving the development of regional economy.

At the same time, although the cost of small and medium-sized airports is lower, it is not cheap, and for localities, through joint construction of airports, it can also reduce local financial pressure.

Third, it is the consideration of airspace resources and site layout. Taking Suzhou, the "strongest prefecture-level city", as an example, at present, there are more airports in the core area of the Yangtze River Delta, where Suzhou is located, and Suzhou is indeed facing the problem of tight airspace resources in the new airport.

Niu Fengrui said that realistically speaking, it is impossible to build airports in every city. In some places, the population density is very large, and the location of the construction of the airport is also difficult. Therefore, some places have built airports in groups, and there are also considerations in this regard.

Li Xiaojin told reporters that Sunan Shuofang Airport is relatively close to Suzhou city itself, so it is recommended that Suzhou and Wuxi work together to make Sunan Shuofang Airport bigger and stronger.

In a recent interview with the media, Li Xiaojin analyzed how Suzhou can make good use of surrounding airports such as Sunan Shuofang Airport and Shanghai International Airport to better play its role in Suzhou's economic and social development, which is of greater practical significance and long-term value to Suzhou. Shareholding, city terminals and cargo terminals can be tried.

In fact, Wuxi and Suzhou have long been related at the equity level of Shuofang Airport. According to industrial and commercial registration information, the major shareholder of Sunan Shuofang Airport is Wuxi Sunan International Airport Co., Ltd., a state-owned enterprise in Wuxi, holding about 58% of the shares, and Suzhou Urban Construction Investment and Development (Group) Co., Ltd., the second shareholder holding 29% of the shares, is a state-owned enterprise in Suzhou.

In order for an airport to truly take into account the development of two cities and serve the people of two cities, the corresponding software and hardware supporting facilities are very important.

In November last year, Wuxi and Suzhou signed the "Suzhou Wuxi Collaborative Development Strategy Cooperation Agreement", focusing on five key areas such as infrastructure interoperability and integration and integrated sharing of public services, among which the two cities joined hands for the first time to "officially announce": cooperate in the construction of "Suxi on rails", and lay a "road map" for the construction of rail transit infrastructure between the two places. It can be seen from the memorandum of cooperation that the two cities will jointly study the Suzhou Metro Line S11 (Suzhou Metro Line 6 extension) and Wuxi Metro Line 3 into Shuofang Airport.