Government backs third runway at Hong Kong Airport

By Helen Wright20 March 2012

The Airport Authority of Hong Kong (AAHK) has welcomed the Hong Kong government's agreement that construction of a third runway is the future development direction of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

The total cost of the third runway project has been put at HK$ 86.2 billion (US$ 11.1 billion). It would involve reclaiming 650 hectares of land to the north of the existing airport island, and would increase capacity to 97 million passengers and 8.9 million tonnes of cargo per year, and allow the airport to handle 620000 flight movements per year.

AAHK put two development options out to public consultation last year. The first involved keeping the current two runway layout at HKIA, which AAHK said would only help meet medium term traffic needs. The second option was to build the third runway - a choice which the Authority claims would help meet demand up to 2030 and possibly beyond.

The results of the public consultation showed that 73% of respondents preferred the third runway option. The Hong Kong government has also approved AAHK's recommendation to proceed with the statutory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and the preparation of the associated design details of the facilities under a three runway system.

AAHK chairman Marvin Cheung Kin-tung said, "The planning and development of airport infrastructure is very complex and requires a long lead time. With the government's approval, we will immediately embark upon a three-phase process of project planning, approval and implementation."

Mr Cheung Kin-tung said the duration of the EIA studies and associated design development would mean that it would take about three years, subject to the granting of required approvals, before construction could begin.

The news comes weeks after Gammon Construction, Balfour Beatty's Hong Kong joint venture company, was awarded a KH$ 6.2 billion (US$ 802 million) contract to build the new Midfield Concourse at HKIA, complete with 19 aircraft stands, fixed link bridges and associated transport links.

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