The decision paves the way for a three-runway system (3RS) at the airport.
Vincent Lo Hong-sui, AAHK's chairman, says: “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 AAHK a significant HK$141.5 billion.
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, which if it commences next year, will ensure that the new runway becomes operational by 2023.
Accordig to AAHK in its 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.
AAHK also unveiled its funding proposal for the project, which is based on a “joint contribution and user-pay” principle. According to the airport, 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
- end-users, including passengers and airlines
CEO, Fred Lam, enthuses: “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 ExCo (Executive Council) has concerns about the amount that would be charged to passengers. We will look into further adjustments and determine whether they are feasible."
He insists that the airport authority will continue with the necessary preparatory works over the coming months as planned, with the aim of starting construction as soon as possible.
“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," says Lam.
"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.”