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Hong Kong airport begins third runway discussions

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) today released its 20-year development blueprint for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) which includes an option to build a third runway costing £6.75bn.

Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030 (Master Plan 2030) outlines two development options for public consultation.

The first option is for maintaining the existing two-runway system, which would help meet Hong Kong’s aviation demand in the medium term only.

The second option is to build a new runway to increase capacity, which would enable HKIA to meet the city’s air traffic demand up to and possibly beyond 2030 while further strengthening its position as a leading regional and international aviation hub.

During a three-month public consultation exercise starting from 3 June 2011, stakeholders and the public are invited to submit their views and comments to the Social Sciences Research Centre (SSRC) of the University of Hong Kong. SSRC is appointed by AAHK to collect and compile public views independently. A series of roving exhibitions, public forums and stakeholder briefings will form a key part of the exercise, which will end on 2 September 2011.

Speaking at the launching ceremony of the Master Plan 2030 Public Consultation, AAHK chairman Marvin Cheung Kin-tung said, “HKIA is an important asset of Hong Kong. Its expansion is inextricably connected with Hong Kong’s continued development as a thriving international business and financial centre.”

Option one is to maintain th existing two-runway system costing HK$23.4bn (£1.8bn) handling up to 420,000 flight movements.

Option two is to expand into a three runway system costing £6.75bn handling up to 620,000 flight movements.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, AAHK’s chief executive officer, said, “As airport development requires a long lead time with considerable advanced planning, we need to decide now on how the airport is going to move forward to avoid a capacity crunch.”

“If HKIA does not expand, or fails to expand in a timely manner, to meet our future aviation traffic demand, there will be adverse consequences. The immediate impact would be on HKIA’s connectivity with the world, because with constrained capacity, HKIA would have to turn away traffic, possibly resulting in the airport serving fewer destinations.”

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