臺北市
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2019-10-18 | 公共電視

Pingtung Subsidies NT$300,000 for Charter Flights|恆春機場運量低迷 屏縣府補助1架包機30萬

Hengchun Airport has suffered from extremely low passenger numbers for many years. The traffic volume since 2015 up till now is zero; therefore is considered a "mosquito airport". Even Uni Air had stopped its only fixed flight this year, the Pingtung Government is hoping to increase charter flights by adding NT$9 million to its budget. Every charter flight would be subsidized NT$300,000. The county government is hoping to increase the length of the runway in order to upgrade to an international airport. The Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung said he will encourage this cooperation. However some scholars think the severe windy conditions in the area adds to safety concerns. They suggest it is better to reinforce land transportation in order to boost tourism in Pingtung.

The Hengchun Airport suffers from extremely low passenger volume for a long time due to the "katabatic wind" or "downslope wind" in the area. There were only 768 passengers in 2014. The airport is considered an idle or abandoned facility with its passenger numbers downed to zero since 2015 till this year. The airport was previously rumored to be abolished. Uni Air even announced in May this year the only fixed flight was cancelled. The Pingtung County government urged to activate the airport and had signed memorandums with several travel agencies. In 2017, the Executive Yuan had given the Pingtung County two years to try out the charter flight plan, but there were still no international flights coming in and out of the airport.

We have signed memorandums with several travel agencies, but the one of the problems we have encountered is that their airplanes require larger runways, both in length and width.

The Pingtung County government has tried vigorously to revive the Hengchun Airport and has added a NT$9 million budget to subsidize NT$300,000 for each charter flight. Local residents is hoping the airport could be upgraded to an international airport with direct flights and bring in tourists. The county government's Transportation and Tourism department also pointed out the existing runway is only 1700 meters long which is not enough for many airline operators. The department is calling on the central government to expand the airport and increase the runway length and is hoping the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) could make a full assessment and improvement on the Hengchun Airport next year.

When it comes to charter flights, airline operators have their own considerations, for example, flying routes. Unfortunately, there are no charter flights coming into this airport. As for the international tourists, of course we encourage charter flights and the CAA is discussing it with tourism operators.

Even if we expand the airport large enough to accommodate the landing of bigger jet planes, the problem of zero tourists still exist. If airliners do land in this airport because of the subsidy, then once the subsidy period is over, the flights would stop as well.

Transportation experts analyzed the low passenger volume in Hengchun Airport and believed it is due to the downslope wind and the restriction in its terrain. Expanding the airport could induce safety concerns. The experts suggested the reinforcement of land transportation by adding buses and trains in order to boost the tourism in Pingtung.

受限於恆春當地的落山風起降不便,恆春機場載運量長年低迷,2014年全年只有768名旅客,後來載客量從2015年一路掛零到今年,被認為是蚊子機場。過去傳出存廢危機,連唯一的固定航班,立榮航空更在今年五月宣告停飛。屏東縣政府積極爭取機場活化與多家旅行社簽訂備忘錄,2017年行政院給屏東縣兩年的試辦包機緩衝,但目前仍沒有國際班機起降。

屏東縣交通旅遊處處長 黃國維表示:「現在已經都有跟一些旅行社,都有簽備忘錄,同時碰到一個問題,就是它們所屬的飛機,需要比較大的跑道的長度跟寬度。」

屏東縣政府多年來爭取恆春機場活化方案,今年加碼編列900萬預算,補助一架包機30萬元。地方鄉親更盼望升級成國際機場直飛,帶來觀光客人潮。屏東縣交旅處也指出,現有跑道僅1700公尺長,讓許多航空業者卻步,向中央喊話爭取擴建機場增長跑道,也盼民航局透過全面評估改善,明年能挹注到恆春機場。

交通部長 林佳龍表示:「包機的部分因為涉及到航空業者他們的考量,航線的規劃,但是並沒有航班,現在國際方面的觀光客,我們也希望能夠鼓勵包機,這部分已經由民航局跟業者在討論。」

開南大學空運管理學系系主任 盧衍良表示:「貿然把機隊把它變得更大的話,這個機場就算能夠(降)落到更大型噴射機,可能還是一樣的問題,就是沒有旅客,如果說今天是因為有了補貼,所以才有業者要來飛的話,等到補貼結束,航班也就結束了。」

交通學者分析,恆春機場長年旅客低迷,受限落山風與地形限制,貿然擴建機場有安全風險,建議加強陸地交通,增加客運、鐵路班次,帶動屏東在地觀光。

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