Third runway for HK passes first hurdle

Hong Kong’s government has given a crucial ‘in principal’ green light for the plan to build an HK$86.2 billion (US$11 billion) third runway at the world’s busiest cargo and Asia’s third busiest passenger airport. The airport’s two existing runways are forecast to reach capacity by 2020.


Cathay Pacific Airways


Hong Kong’s government has given a crucial ‘in principal’ green light for the plan to build an HK$86.2 billion (US$11 billion) third runway at the world’s busiest cargo and Asia’s third busiest passenger airport. The airport’s two existing runways are forecast to reach capacity by 2020.

“The executive council has approved in principal the airport authority’s recommendation to adopt the threerunway system as the future development option for its next stage of planning,” Secretary for Transport and Housing, Eva Cheng said. The government-owned airport authority is now clear to start work on detailed design, financing, and an environment impact assessment, tasks which are expected to take about two years, she said.

Completing the assessment may take up to two years and the ultimate decision will probably happen in 2015, she said. The HK$86.2 billion cost for the third-runway is in 2010 dollars and the final number may be HK$136.2 billion at “money-of-the-day prices”
by the time it’s built, according to the airport operator’s website.

The airport operator, Cathay Pacific Airways and a host of other companies and associations have favored a third runway over a more-limited and cheaper alternative. Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) – the major air cargo handler at the world’s largest air cargo hub, handling 70 per cent of air cargo movements or nearly three million tonnes annually – has welcomed the in-principle approval.