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NEWS Last modified on September 16, 2014

Airport Authority Hong Kong welcomes expansion endorsement

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) says it welcomes the recommendation made by an environmental council to expand Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) into a three-runway system (3RS) with conditions.

The Advisory Council on the Environment (ACE) has endorsed the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report to develop the Asian hub.

C K Ng, acting chief executive officer of the AA, says it is a "key milestone in development of the 3RS project, and adds: "It’s also an important step for maintaining Hong Kong’s overall competitiveness, by allowing our airport to meet its long-term aviation demand while generating local employment.

“While pursuing economic development, we will do everything we can to mitigate its impact on the environment through the measures stipulated in the EIA report, aiming to achieve a balance between economic development and conservation.”

The AA says it appreciates the valuable comments about the EIA report, which were made by the ACE over numerous meetings held since August.

During this period, AA and its team of professional consultants held in-depth discussions with ACE members to answer their questions and take their comments under serious consideration.

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Ng also explains the AA will carefully study the conditions and recommendations made by the ACE in its endorsement of the EIA report, and will also strive to complete the other planning works related to the 3RS.

If everything goes according to plan, the AA has targeting gaining the support and approval from the government to begin construction as soon as possible, with an aim for the 3RS to be fully operational by 2023.

IATA Consulting estimates that, at a base-case level, HKIA will be receiving 102 million passengers and 8.9 million tonnes of cargo per year by 2030 while handling 607,000 flight movements, but the current capacity of the two-runway system is only 420,000 flight movements.

In 2013, HKIA handled 59.9 million passengers, 4.12 million tonnes of cargo and 372,040 flight movements, and the hub is fast approaching its maximum handling capacity.

Under a three-runway system, HKIA will be able to accommodate 620,000 flight movements per year, meeting its demand up to the year 2030.

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