The Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AA) has announced it has received approval for expanding Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) into a three-runway system (3RS).
Vincent Lo Hong-sui, Chairman of the AA, said: “Expanding HKIA into a three-runway system provides obvious benefits. It will consolidate our city’s status as an international and regional aviation hub, spur economic development and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. This is a project for Hong Kong, and we are committed to taking it forward.”
The 3RS, which situates on 650 hectares of reclaimed land, will cost the AA HK$141.5 billion at money-of-the-day prices. The project’s key facilities include a new runway, taxiways and aprons, a third runway concourse, an expanded Terminal 2, an automated people mover and a baggage handling system.
The project will need eight years for construction. If the AA can commence work in 2016, it can be completed by 2023.
As outlined in “Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030”, the 3RS will be able to serve 30 million more passengers annually upon its completion. Land will be reserved for further airport expansion, depending on future demand.
The AA also unveiled its funding proposal for the project, which is based on a “joint contribution and user-pay” principle. According to the AA, the project will be funded through three channels: bank loans and bonds; HKIA’s operational surplus, which has typically been paid to the Government as dividends; and end-users, including passengers and airlines.
According to Fred Lam, Chief Executive Officer of the AA: “Around 70% of HKIA’s passengers are non-Hong Kong residents. Our suggested user-pay principle makes good sense, because subsidising the project through the Government means local taxpayers would be footing the bill for overseas passengers.
“We understand that our Executive Committee has concerns about the amount that would be charged to passengers. We will look into further adjustments and determine whether they are feasible,” added Mr Lam.
The AA said it will continue with the necessary preparatory works over the coming months as planned, with the aim of starting construction: “as soon as possible.”
Mr Lam added, “Like other infrastructural works of this magnitude, the development of the 3RS will be a long process. But this will not deter us from doing what is necessary to build a better future for our city. The 3RS will bring more business, more jobs and more convenience to Hong Kong. We will collaborate with the Government, the aviation industry, our stakeholders and the city’s residents to make it happen.”