Taipei, Jan. 30 (CNA) Passengers served by the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport reached 42.3 million in 2016, putting Taiwan's main gateway onto a list of airports serving over 40 million passengers, according to Taoyuan International Airport Co. statistics.
Passengers served by the airport reached 32.21 million in 2013, the first year in which it served over 30 million. Passengers served by the airport increased for five consecutive years from 2012 to 2016, with the rates of increase in the five years between 7.45 percent and 11.15 percent, according to the company's statistics.
On average, the airport served more than 115,000 passengers per day in 2016.
Taoyuan Airport has attracted six budget carriers in 2016 -- AirAsia Philippines, Eastar Jet of South Korea, JetStar Pacific Airlines of Vietnam, Jin Air of South Korea, Malindo Air of Malaysia/Indonesia and T'way Air of South Korea -- which shows that airlines in Southeast and Northeast Asian countries are interested in the Taiwan market.
The airport company has begun a project to expand the size of Terminal Two, which is scheduled to be completed in June, 2018.
Construction on building a third terminal has also started, but it is not expected to be completed until 2020. The company is also conducting an environmental impact assessment on a possible third runway, which might be completed by 2025.
In 2016, the airport won the second place in the 2015 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Award for "Best Airport by Size: 25-40 Million Passengers."
The first place went jointly to airports in New Delhi and Mumbai, both in India.
The annual awards recognize the best airports in the world, according to the Airports Council International's (ACI) ASQ passenger satisfaction survey.
In December, Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said Taoyuan Airport needs to provide better services for passengers in order to compete with other airports serving over 40 million passengers, which is why he ordered the Transport Ministry to have Airport Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line start operating soon after the Lunar New Year holiday.
The airport MRT line is scheduled to begin trial runs in February and to begin operating in March.
The first place of the 2015 ASQ Award for "Best Airport by Size: Over 40 Million Passengers" are Incheon Airport in South Korea and Singapore Airport.
The second place of those over 40 million passengers are Shanghai Pudong Airport and Beijing Airport, according to the ACI.
(By Bien Chin-feng and Kuo Chung-han)