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"Hong Kong airport unveils growth blueprint for next 20 years"

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hong Kong airport unveils growth blueprint for next 20 years 
China - Xinhua

The Airport Authority of Hong Kong on Thursday released a 20-year plan that
will double the annual passengers handling capacity of Hong Kong
International Airport (HKIA) from current 40 million to 80 million in 2025. 

The feasibility study of constructing the third runway to maximize the
existing capacity is also under way. 

According to the blueprint, or HKIA 2025, HKIA will continue to contribute
to the social and economic development of Hong Kong, the Pearl River Delta
and the Chinese mainland as a whole. 

"With China's growing global economic influence and Hong Kong's increasing
integration with China's mainland, HKIA 2025 positions Hong Kong
International Airport as one of the most important gateway hubs of China,"
said Airport Authority Chairman Victor Fung. 

"HKIA will continue to contribute to the sustainable growth of Hong Kong and
its integration with the Mainland," he said. 

As a gateway hub, the blueprint said, HKIA will participate in the thriving
Chinese mainland aviation market, which the Civil Aviation Administration of
China (CAAC) predicts will approach 1.4 billion passenger trips and 30
million tonnes of cargo by 2020. 

HKIA is expected to serve about 80 million passengers and handle 8 million
tonnes of cargo and 490,000 aircraft movements per year by 2025. 

Currently, there are 85 airlines operating at HKIA, connecting Hong Kong
with 150 cities worldwide including around 40 mainland destinations. 

The blueprint supports a co-ordinated airport development system in Pearl
River Delta, a goal that the Airport Authority hopes will optimize the
supply of valuable resources, including runway capacity and airspace. 

The CAAC estimates that by 2020, the five primary civilian airports in the
delta areas, namely Hong Kong, Macao, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai, will
likely see a total of 5,000 aircraft movements each day, more than double
the current level. 

Regarding enhancing the runway capacity, Airport Authority Chief Executive
Officer David J. Pang added, "Airport Authority will continue to work
closely with Civil Aviation Department to maximize the existing capacity and
will undergo the feasibility study of constructing the third runway. 

Pang said the decision will give due consideration to stakeholders' opinions
and Hong Kong's long-term competitiveness, with a view to maintaining HKIA's
role as a leading aviation hub.

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