Third runway ‘critical’ as capacity limit looms
Hong Kong International Airport’s three-runway system is significant to reinforce Hong Kong’s competitiveness and handle thriving demand for travel in the GuangdongHong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, industry experts say
hird-runway construction began last August and will take eight years to complete. It involves reclamation of approximately 650 hectares of land, a 13.4-kilometer-seawall and 57 parking positions, as well as concourse, highspeed baggage-handling system and other facilities.
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) had one runway when it operated at Kai Tak and was upgraded to a two-runway system after the new HKIA opened at Chek traffic will reach the 420,000 Lap Kok in 1998. ceiling in two years.
Since the first Cathay PacifFurthermore, experts ic Airways flight from New believe growth will speed up York landed the airport has in future, driven by the intehad about 4.65 million landgrated development of ings with more than 835 milGuangdong-Hong Kong-Malion passengers and tens of cao Greater Bay Area and the millions of tons of cargo. Belt and Road Initiative.
However, the two-runway The Greater Bay Area system is about to meet full includes Hong Kong, Macao capacity, estimated at and nine. cities in Guangdong 420,000 air traffic moveTprovince. ments a year at most, accordChen Xiaoning, secretarying to NATS Holdings, a general of China Civil AirUnited Kingdom-based proports Association, wrote in a vider of air traffic managereport that the Greater Bay ment services. Area will develop into a
The need for HKIA to world-level bay economy and expand into a three-runway required a world-level airport system is believed to be cluster. urgent in order to maintain “The passenger volume of competitiveness. the airports in the area has
The airport accommodated exceeded that of their coun412,000 air traffic movements terparts in New York Bay area last year, an increase of 1.4 to 180 million last year,” he percent over 2015. At this rate noted, “so the demand to expand local airports’ capacity is urgent.”
The Hong Kong Airport Authority said HKIA will be able to serve 30 million additional passengers a year upon the completion of the threerunway system.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) projects that with the threerunway system HKIA can arrange 607,000 aircraft movements and 8.9 million tons of cargo per year by 2030.
In addition, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, sited at the northeast of HKIA, is expected to help the airport expand its market and cooperate with neighboring airports.
Yau Shing-mu, under secretary for transport and housing, said the Greater Bay Area will become the hinterland of Hong Kong’s development.
The more prosperous an area is, the more demand of imports and exports it has, so Hong Kong, as a transport hub, will play a significant role in development of the Greater Bay Area, he said.
The initiative of a third runway at HKIA is also welcomed by local airlines. Stanley Kan, director of service delivery at Hong Kong Airlines, believes it can have a positive impact on Hong Kong’s economic development and strengthen the SAR’s status as a premier international aviation hub.
The Airport Authority also said the system will offer additional capacity for airlines to provide more destinations with more frequent flights, giving passengers greater choices and convenience.