CAAC ‘fully supports’ Hong Kong’s third runway
11 / 09 / 2015
Beijing’s Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) “fully supports” Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)’s plan to expand into a three-runway system.
The CAAC will also “proactively implement various initiatives” concerning airspace management in the Pearl River Delta region around Hong Kong, which is home to the world’s number one air cargo hub, handling 4.4m tonnes in 2014.
In July this year, Hong Kong’s government announced the creation of the Aviation Development and Three-runway System Advisory Committee (ADTAC) to address – among other aviation policy issues – local concerns over the approved project for a third runway at HKIA.
Expected to open by 2023, Hong Kong’s third runway will help the island maintain its air cargo status and fight off competition from other Asian rivals in China and Singapore.
News of CAAC’s support came in a recent meeting in Beijing between Jack So Chak-kwong, chairman of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA), with Li Jiaxiang, Director General of CAAC.
The AA chairman introduced the latest developments at HKIA and also visited Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) to learn about the progress of the new airport that is currently under construction.
An HKIA statement said: “Mr Li commended HKIA for being a world-class airport and air cargo centre for Asia, and added that the CAAC fully supports HKIA’s plan to expand into a three-runway system.
“He also said the CAAC will proactively implement various initiatives concerning airspace management in the Pearl River Delta region.”
The AA chairman said the construction of HKIA’s three-runway system is expected to take eight years to complete. He added that the airport’s existing two-runway system is likely to reach full capacity by 2016 or 2017, underscoring the pressing need to expand as soon as possible.
Mr So also emphasised the importance of HKIA’s extensive flight network connecting many parts of the world as well as Hong Kong’s geographic position to the “One Belt, One Road” strategic development initiative.
Beijing’s planned new airport, in Daxing district, will comprise seven runways and be able to handle 100m passengers a year. Construction started at the end of last year and the first phase is expected to commence operation by 2019.