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View Poll Results: Scale from 1 to 10, 10 being SUPER and 1 being BAD, what would you rate the Airport??
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Old July 8th, 2013, 08:32 AM   #4321
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香港機場快閃突襲 Hong Kong Airport Flashmob

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCJwBk2i2YI

Quite funny and interesting to watch, especially for a regulated society like Hong Kong.
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Old July 9th, 2013, 03:00 PM   #4322
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By 老豆 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :



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Old July 10th, 2013, 12:40 AM   #4323
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By VIRGINA from dcfever :

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Old July 11th, 2013, 02:30 PM   #4324
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Quote:
Furious couple allegedly attack Cathay Pacific staff, police

A COUPLE has been charged with assault for allegedly taking out their anger over a flight delay on airline staff and police.
Xu Jun, 35, and his wife Wan Yejun were waiting to board their Cathay Pacific flight CX364 at Hong Kong Airport on Friday when they were faced with a long delay caused by air traffic control problems in Shanghai, the South China Morning Post reported.
When the delay hit the four-hour mark they allegedly became very angry. Xu reportedly approached Cathay staff at the gate and flung a computer keyboard to the ground before pouring soft drink over two employees who had attempted to calm him down.
When police arrived and arrested Xu, his wife Wan allegedly hit an officer in the back.
The case has been heard in a Hong Kong magistrate's court where Xu was convicted of criminal damage and common assault and fined $281, while Wan was convicted of assaulting a police officer and fined $351.
Both had pleaded guilty.
Cathay Pacific later told the Southern Metropolis Daily that the flight finally took off at 9am on Saturday after a 16 hour delay.
News.com.au has contacted Cathay Pacific for comment.
Tensions can run high when it comes to air travel.
Last month a man was filmed allegedly attacking a United Airlines pilot, and in May a group of stressed passengers facing unexplained flight delays brawled with airport staff.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/travel/news/f...#ixzz2Yjf6P0x7
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Old July 13th, 2013, 07:54 PM   #4325
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#Mr Green's Air#China Airlines(CI);Boeing 747-400;B18203;Hong Kong International Airport(HKG) by GRN_Wong, on Flickr
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Old July 16th, 2013, 06:49 AM   #4326
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Air Traffic Shows Healthy Growth at HKIA in First Half of 2013
Press Release

HONG KONG, 14 July 2013 - Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) reported sustained growth in all three traffic categories for the first half of 2013. During the first six months of the year, passenger volume grew to 28.9 million, marking a 4.7% increase over the same period in 2012. Cargo tonnage increased 2% to 2 million tonnes, while flight movements rose 5.1% to 180,650.

This solid performance was supported by overall traffic growth in June. The airport served 5 million passengers and handled 30,555 flight movements during the month, representing year-on-year increases of 7.6% and 7.5%, respectively. Monthly cargo volume also grew 1% to 337,000 tonnes.

The growth in passenger traffic in June was driven by Hong Kong resident travel and visitor traffic, which saw 12% and 10% gains respectively over the same month last year. Passenger traffic to and from Mainland China and South East Asia performed particularly well.

The growth in cargo throughput last month was primarily due to a 3% year-on-year growth in exports. During June, cargo throughput to and from North America outperformed other key regions.

Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA), said, “We are pleased to report that HKIA achieved a new record in daily passenger numbers, and also set records in both single-day and monthly aircraft movements over the past six months. Cross-boundary ferry traffic between HKIA and eight ports in the Pearl River Delta including Macao recorded over 1.3 million passengers, up 5.8% over the six months, year on year.

“We began the second half of the year by celebrating the 15th anniversary of HKIA with our business partners and airport users – hosting a Gala Dinner and mob dance performance which drew overwhelming response. The mob dance was particularly well received, drawing hundreds of thousands of online views in no time. I would like to thank colleagues from our business partners and the AA who spent hours practising the dance, resulting in a superb performance that was surely a high point of HKIA’s 15th anniversary celebration.

“HKIA’s continuous growth over the past 15 years is a testament to the vision and determination of our people, who have worked hand in hand with the Government and our business partners to contribute to Hong Kong’s success as Asia’s World City. Looking ahead, we will continue to work closely with the airport community with a view to achieving the next level of excellence and contributing to the city’s sustainable development,” Mr Hui added.

On a rolling 12-month basis, passenger volume at HKIA was up 3.7% to 57.8 million, cargo throughput grew 3.2% to 4.1 million tonnes and flight movements increased 5% to 360,425.

http://www.hongkongairport.com/pr_download/Jun2013e.pdf
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Old July 18th, 2013, 05:49 PM   #4327
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All Puma rescue copters grounded
The Standard
Tuesday, December 28, 2010

All three French-made Super Puma helicopters of the Government Flying Service have been grounded after one ditched in the city's largest reservoir yesterday during a hillfire operation.

The nine-year-old Eurocopter Super Puma AS332 L2 helicopter, with three crew members onboard, made an emergency landing on the Shing Mun Reservoir around 10.30am after one of its two engines experienced trouble. It landed safely with the help of floats.

The crew pilot James Sze Wan-lung, 33, cadet pilot Howie Chun Tak-yau, 25, and air crewman officer Ryan Lo Yiu- wah, 38 escaped unharmed after swimming ashore. They were discharged from Yan Chai Hospital after a checkup.

This was the first incident involving Super Pumas in Hong Kong.

GFS will set up a team to probe the incident and a report will be completed in a month. A French expert from manufacturer Eurocopter will come to Hong Kong to help with the investigation. GFS controller Michael Chan Chi-pui said the two remaining Super Puma helicopters have been grounded pending an investigation.

Its four Eurocopter EC155 B1 helicopters will be used to continue its service.

Chan praised the pilot for his good judgment.

Depending on the situation, our pilot had to decide whether it was safer for the aircraft to fly to the heliport nearest to the Shing Mun Reservoir or ditch on water.

The pilot had to make a decision at that time. I think he made a very good decision which ensured the airmens safety.

Sze, who has been with GFS for nine years, thanked his crew for keeping level-headed.

He declined to comment on the cause of the accident.

Chan said an engine malfunctioned as the chopper was picking up its fifth bucket of water from the reservoir to help put out the hillfire.

The blaze, which started around 7am near a radar station on Tai Mo Shan, was about one kilometer from the reservoir, director-general of civil aviation Norman Lo Shung-man said.

He said the three airmen, on morning shift, were carrying out their first task and believes they had enough rest.

The helicopters engines were last repaired in September, GFS controller Chan said. While Super Puma helicopters can, in some circumstances, remain airborne with one engine malfunctioning, Chan said the power of both engines is needed to lift up a chopper.

Lo said with the help of firefighters, aviation authorities will first remove the black box, four blades and engines of the chopper which floated from the center of the reservoir to the shore to ease its weight so that the remaining parts can be airlifted later. He estimates the recovery will take one to two days.

Water Supplies Department senior engineer Chung Tat-kong said floats were used to cordon off the helicopter to guard against any potential oil spill. It has taken samples of the water for tests, but there were no immediate signs of contamination.

The last incident involving a GFS aircraft was in August 2003. A pilot and a crewman were killed while on their way to Cheung Chau to airlift a patient to Queen Mary Hospital. Their Eurocopter EC155 B1 helicopter smashed into a hillside near Pak Kung Au, Lantau.

An investigation found that challenging weather conditions and low visibility were factors in the crash.
Government publishes B-HRN aircraft accident report
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Government Press Release





The Government today (July 18) published the final report of the investigation into a helicopter accident that took place on December 27, 2010, at Shing Mun Reservoir involving a Eurocopter AS332 L2 Super Puma helicopter operated by the Government Flying Service (GFS) on a firefighting mission.

The accident involved a firefighting flight by a Eurocopter AS332 L2 Super Puma helicopter operated by the GFS. The helicopter ditched in a controlled manner into the reservoir. There was no injury to the three crew members on board or other persons on the ground.

"After the accident, the Chief Inspector of Accidents immediately ordered an inspector's investigation in accordance with the Hong Kong Civil Aviation (Investigation of Accidents) Regulations (Chapter 448B). The objective of the investigation was to determine the circumstances and the causes of the accident with a view to the preservation of life and the avoidance of accidents in the future," a Civil Aviation Department (CAD) spokesperson said.

The investigation was conducted by a team of trained accident investigators in strict adherence to the international standards established by the International Civil Aviation Organization. The investigation report contains an analysis of the circumstances of the accident, and identifies the cause of the accident, which was the overspeed of the free turbine of the engine in question that led to the activation of the automatic protection system and the subsequent engine shutdown. The report has put forward one safety recommendation to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the authority for promoting safety in civil aviation in Europe, to mandate the installation of a reinforced main gearbox on all helicopters of the same model which are operated for carriage of heavy loads.

"The EASA has taken note of the recommendation. The CAD will continue to follow up with the EASA after the release of the final report," the spokesperson said.

Throughout the accident investigation, all parties concerned were given ample opportunities to comment on the findings of the report.

The report is available for download from the CAD's website (www.cad.gov.hk/english/reports.html).
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Old July 19th, 2013, 06:56 AM   #4328
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Flak hits carriers in tickets row
The Standard
Friday, July 19, 2013

A war of words has erupted between the Consumer Council and the aviation industry on whether the selling of more tickets than seats breaches the amendments to the Trade Descriptions Ordinance that take effect today.
The council says it does, as airlines are well aware that if everyone turns up not all of them will be able to board.

But the airlines say they do not understand how this can breach the new ordinance.

"If the airlines do not intend to, or are unable to provide a service but accept the payment of passengers, they may breach the `wrongly accepting payment' section in the new amended ordinance," council chief executive Gilly Wong Fung-han said. She advises passengers to check in online ahead of departure.

The council cited a case in which two passengers arrived at the airport two hours before takeoff, only to be told they had not checked in online and would need to take another flight a few hours later. They were allowed to board the scheduled flight at the last minute only after tough negotiations.

Cathay Pacific Airways and subsidiary Dragonair did not provide information on how frequent passengers are unable to get on aircraft because flights are full.

But their spokesmen said they carefully monitor and control the matching of the number of available seats and passengers that they expect to show up. "In case more passengers show up for a flight than there are seats available, we will do our best to make alternative flight arrangements for the concerned passengers to get to their destinations as soon as possible," one said.

A Customs and Excise Department spokesman said overselling is not a legal concept under the amended ordinance.

However, barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said: "Customs has never enforced the amended ordinance before, and there is no case they can use it as reference.

"I believe there will be room to argue on individual cases after the ordinance is implemented."
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Old July 19th, 2013, 08:56 AM   #4329
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Love Hong Kong Airport!
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Old July 25th, 2013, 04:58 AM   #4330
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Hong Kong Appetite for $100 Mangoes Boosts ANA Cargo: Freight
Jul 24, 2013 11:00 PM GMT+0800.
Bloomberg Excerpt

ANA Holdings Inc., Japan’s largest airline, is targeting Hong Kong’s appetite for next-day delivery of $100 mangoes and other food to boost its cargo as shipments of Panasonic Corp. and Sony Corp. televisions slump.

Hong Kong, the biggest destination for food and live animals exported by air from Japan, is buying more Japanese beef, cherries and other premium items as the number of rich in the city increases. Expanding demand is prompting the airline to add more cargo flights in the region.

ANA is speeding up the transportation of farm goods by avoiding Tokyo and using its cargo hub in Okinawa in southern Japan. Rising exports of food and other perishables is helping the carrier withstand a slump in the shipment of electronics as Sony and other Japanese companies pare domestic manufacturing.

“Japanese seasonal fruits have a reputation for high quality in Asian countries,”Akira Okada, ANA’s cargo head, said in an interview in Tokyo. “In the future we want to be able to provide next-day delivery to the Chinese mainland as well. There are a lot of rich people in China.”

The nation’s exports of food and live animals by planes almost doubled in value in the past decade to 36 billion yen ($360 million) last year, from 19 billion yen in 2002, according to figures from Japan Customs. Hong Kong is the biggest importer, with 20 billion yen in purchases last year.

Hitachi, Toshiba

In comparison, television shipments by air have slumped, with about 661,000 units sent overseas last year from 2.5 million in 2002, according to Japan Customs. Japanese companies have reduced or stopped TV production in the country as they strive to cut costs and stem losses amid increasing competition.

In 2009, Sony closed a factory that made monitors and projectors in Ichinomiya while Panasonic cut its investment in two flat-panel factories at home. Hitachi Ltd. ended its television manufacturing last year and Toshiba Corp. has also stopped domestic TV production.

Yamato Holdings Co., Japan’s largest express delivery company, in May said it would offer next-day deliveries direct to customers in Hong Kong and Taiwan from the Okinawa hub.

Oranges from Ehime prefecture, western Japan, sell for HK$338 ($44) for 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds) on Yahoo! Hong Kong Ltd.’s website, while up to 700 grams of grapes from Kagawa Prefecture, western Japan, are priced at HK$458. Customers are also paying up to 10,000 yen each for mangoes from Kyushu, southern Japan, Okada said.

‘Good Job’

“ANA is doing a good job in trying to add value to its cargo service by using its Okinawa hub,” said Ryota Himeno, an analyst at Barclays Securities Japan Ltd. “It’s a tough market for air freight.”

The Asia Pacific region has had the sharpest decline in air freight this year, with volumes down 3.2 percent in the year through May, according to the International Air Transport Association. That compares with a 0.5 percent drop globally. In Japan’s air cargo market, goods worth 16 trillion yen are shipped overseas annually, according to Japan Customs.

ANA, based in Tokyo, opened its cargo hub in Naha, Okinawa in 2009, putting it two hours closer to Hong Kong by plane than Tokyo. Demand is getting a boost after the number of millionaires in Hong Kong jumped 36 percent to 114,000 last year.

“What used to take two or three days, we can now do in one,” Okada said on July 4. “Professionals are able to spot the fruits that will ripen the next day and send them straight to consumer.”

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Old July 27th, 2013, 08:27 AM   #4331
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Hong Kong must exhaust all other options before building third runway
Albert Cheng suggests ways the Airport Authority could raise its handling capacity, not least by better co-ordinating its airspace traffic
19 July 2013
South China Morning Post

The Airport Authority recently ran newspaper advertisements to pave the way for its plan to build a third runway and engage the public over the ongoing environmental impact assessment of the project.

I have always objected to a third runway, mainly because the airport still has not fully utilised the capacity of the existing two runways. Building a third runway is not only a waste of resources; it will also seriously affect the nearby natural environment.

The problem stems from the fact that the director general of civil aviation is trying to play safe and has thus limited aircraft movements to 64 flights per hour for the two-runway system. By 2015, aircraft movements are expected to reach 68 per hour.

This is way below international standards. Take Heathrow for example. Its two runways handle up to 80 aircraft movements per hour.

If only Hong Kong could shake off its conservative management mindset, the airport could almost certainly immediately increase its runway capacity to reach international standards. That way, we could save resources and wouldn't need a third runway.

In fact, when the airport was still under construction, a British aviation consultant set the hourly aircraft movements at 75. But civil aviation chief Norman Lo Shung-man said aircraft movements could only reach 68 by 2015, rejecting what the consultant had said.

What could be the reasons for these restrictions? One is that our airport cannot increase the hourly aircraft movements due to our restricted airspace. In other words, the airspace congestion problem is not caused by a traffic bottleneck on the runways, but by the limited airspace.

Former civil aviation chief Albert Lam Kwong-yu said previously that the Hong Kong and national aviation authorities had already reached a consensus on how to manage the airspace to the north of the airport. But the current chief appears to have rejected this consensus and chosen a regressive path instead.

That's why we should look again at the option of expanding air space in the north.

I also wonder about the Airport Authority's motives for building a third runway. It seems motivated by a sense of grandeur, rather than practicality, and is looking to expand to secure its existence.

A third runway won't really resolve the problem; even this new runway would not be fully utilised.

Another reason why the runways are underutilised is the lack of professional talent. The civil aviation department blames a lack of locally trained air traffic controllers for not being able to raise the number of aircraft movements.

This is a rather backward-looking attitude. If we have a shortage of controllers, why not recruit overseas professionals? With more air traffic controllers, we can boost runway capacity and the airport would be able to handle more aircraft movements.

Lo and his department just seem full of excuses and are resistant to change.

Another point worth focusing on is synchronising our computer communication system with that of the mainland aviation authority. Hong Kong uses the American Raytheon system at the air traffic control centre, while the mainland uses the French Thales system.

If we can synchronise our computer systems, no doubt we would be able to further enhance communication and help boost traffic capacity.

I am not blindly objecting to airport expansion, but cost effectiveness is important.

At present, our airport is rather busy and congested mainly because of a lack of areas to park aircraft. To resolve this, we don't need a third runway, but rather a third terminal to increase parking spaces.

With the mainland's rapid economic development, the role of Hong Kong's airport as an international aviation hub will gradually diminish, as it is replaced by the airports in Guangzhou and Shenzhen as economic expansion focuses on the Pearl River Delta.

Even if our airport is not replaced completely, the shift of focus will lessen our role and competitive edge. That's why building a third runway would be ineffective and would only create a white elephant.

Hong Kong needs development, but not ineffective development that ultimately turns into wasteful white elephants and stirs public opposition and discontent.

We should focus our resources and strengths to further enhance our development advantages. We need to always be one step ahead in our mindset to remain in a leading position. To increase our competitiveness and advantages doesn't mean expansion.

A sensible approach is to increase our airport's hourly aircraft movements to 75 and build a third passenger terminal as soon as possible. Big is not always effective - substance is far more important.

Albert Cheng King-hon is a political commentator.
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Old July 27th, 2013, 06:46 PM   #4332
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Old July 28th, 2013, 12:57 AM   #4333
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Old July 28th, 2013, 08:05 AM   #4334
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Tourists shore up Hong Kong-Taiwan flights
South China Morning Post
19 July 2013

Demand for airline tickets between Hong Kong and Taiwan has stood up well five years after the launching of direct flights across the strait, with demand from tourists compensating for the drop in business travellers who used to have to travel via Hong Kong, Taiwanese carrier China Airlines said yesterday.

It launched a new route between Tainan and Hong Kong yesterday, with three flights a week. It is the fourth Taiwanese destination it is offering in Hong Kong, following Taipei, Taichung and Kaohsiung.

"We are glad to see that the traffic between Hong Kong and Taiwan held up well even after the direct flight services," China Airlines chairman Sun Huang-hsiang said. "We used to fly 120 flights between Hong Kong and Taipei before 2009 and now we fly 160 flights weekly with smaller aircraft, but similar capacity as a whole."

The airline flies 11 round trips a day from Hong Kong to Taipei, four round trips to Kaohsiung and two to Taichung.

In the first half of the year, the number of tourists travelling from Hong Kong and Macau to Taiwan increased more than 12 per cent year on year to 558,000. Last year, around one million visitors from Hong Kong and Macau flew to Taiwan, with about 1.6 million visitors from Taiwan going the other way, excluding those transiting Hong Kong to the mainland, the director of the Taiwan Visitors Association's Hong Kong office, Wang Chun-bao, said.

"The growth of Hong Kong visitors has been in the double digits over the past five years and we have high hopes that the flights between Hong Kong and Tainan will help to boost the growth."

Sun said the load factor of the new service, deploying a 150-seat B737-800, was 70 per cent on average and was expected to grow to 80 per cent by October before the airline upgraded the frequency of flights to five a week. It plans offer a daily flight to Tainan by the end of the year.

Taiwan is one of the top three outbound destinations for Hongkongers, according to a survey by Nielsen, with 10 per cent of the population visiting the island each year. But travel agents say they need more new destinations to encourage them to revisit the island.

"Tainan, which is rich in historical and cultural attractions, is ideal for in-depth tourism," said Simon Ma Sai-man, assistant general manager (Asia and long haul) at Wing On Travel. "It was the first port opened up and developed in Taiwan when … adventurer Zheng Chenggong conquered the island in the 17th century."

Study tours are another driving force for the growth in traffic between Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"Increasing numbers of Hong Kong students opt to study in Taiwan as the universities there offer a wider range of degree courses, allowing them to choose according to their own aspirations," said Nelson Law, director of Plate-Forme (Hong Kong), an organiser of study tours to Taiwan.

Last year, it helped 1,400 candidates from Hong Kong study in Taiwan, and this year it had received more than 4,000 applications, he said.
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Old July 29th, 2013, 06:26 PM   #4335
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China Airlines launches Tainan-Hong Kong direct flights

Taipei, July 18 (CNA) China Airlines (CAL), Taiwan's largest air carrier, launched direct flights from southern Taiwan's Tainan City to Hong Kong Thursday, establishing the first such route from Tainan Airport.

CAL said it hopes to offer a more convenient service to Tainan residents traveling to China, as they have had to go further south to Kaohsiung International Airport to catch flights, CAL said.

The new direct flights to Hong Kong will be scheduled three times a week - on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday - on Boeing 737-800 aircraft, the airline said.

Currently, CAL operates 156 round-trip flights per week to Hong Kong -- 88 from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, 40 from Kaohsiung International Airport and 28 from Taichung Airport.
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Old August 2nd, 2013, 05:46 AM   #4336
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Runways to reach early saturation point
The Standard
Friday, August 02, 2013

The two runways at Hong Kong International Airport will reach maximum capacity by 2017 - or three years earlier than originally projected, according to the Airport Authority.

It estimated two years ago that the runways would reach saturation point by 2020, and called for a third runway.

However chief executive officer, Stanley Hui Hon-chung, said yesterday the runways are likely to be saturated by 2017 at the earliest.

During an exhibition on the third runway, Hui said the airport is undergoing rapid growth. "Therefore, the need for a third runway has become even more pressing," he said.

The airport saw an 8percent rise in passenger capacity, flight takeoffs and landings last month, compared to July last year. Cargo-carrying capacity also recorded a slight increase.

By 2030, Hui said, passenger trips through Hong Kong will increase to 102.3 million and freight traffic will reach 8.9 million tonnes a year.

Furthermore, there will be 607,000 aircraft movements a year.

The environmental impact assessment of a third runway should be completed at the end of this year or by early next.

The restricted area at the north of the airport will be extended to minimize the impact on the Chinese white dolphins, Hui said.

Green Sense spokesman Roy Tam Hoi-pong slammed the authority for failing to detail the impact of seven reclamation projects in Lantau.

Samantha Lee Mei-wah, of WWF Hong Kong, said the assessment should address whether reclamation will further reduce the number of dolphins.

Professional Commons policy convener Albert Lai Kwong-tak said the assessment is limited and will fail to assess the social impact of a runway.

The Professional Commons, together with Friends of the Earth and Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society, has begun a study into the effects of a third runway. It has asked British think-tank New Economics Foundation to offer advice.
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Old August 4th, 2013, 10:31 AM   #4337
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Here's the website of the three runway system proposal:
http://www.threerunwaysystem.com/en/

Here's a tentative layout from the website:
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Old August 4th, 2013, 11:41 AM   #4338
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looking good
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Old August 5th, 2013, 04:54 AM   #4339
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Chek Lap Kok still up there with the best of them despite falling down ranking
4 August 2013
South China Morning Post

This year's Air Transport Research Society Global Benchmarking Report has downgraded Hong Kong International Airport from first place to fifth in its ranking of 195 airports worldwide.

The annual survey compares the performance of airports based on their financial statements, annual reports, traffic statistics, capacity and charges.

The site of the airport, Chek Lap Kok, was an island inhabited by about 20 families when the plan to build the air hub was announced.

It and the smaller island of Lam Chau were levelled and merged by reclaiming land to build a 12.4 square kilometre platform for the airport.

The farming and fishing villages on Chek Lap Kok were moved to a spot near Tung Chung on Lantau Island and they are now known as Chek Lap Kok Village.

After almost six years of construction and US$20 billion in building costs, the airport opened on July 4, 1998.

It is listed in Guinness World Records as being the most expensive airport in the world, and replaced the Kai Tak airport with its hair-raising runway.

Its construction was voted one of the top 10 construction achievements of the 20th century at the ConExpo conference in 1999.

The airport has had its fair share of controversies, however. Cathay Pacific flight CX889 from New York via Vancouver was the first commercial flight to touch down at the new airport, at 6.25am on July 6, 1998.

Within hours of that first flight, chaos broke out, with operational problems involving flight information systems, cargo handling, personnel training and passenger terminal infrastructure causing major problems that were not fully resolved for months.

But over the years since then it has grown in prestige internationally.

Hong Kong International Airport is now home to one of the world's largest passenger terminal buildings - it was the largest when opened in 1998.

It is also an important contributor to Hong Kong's economy, with about 60,000 workers.

About 90 airlines operate from the airport to more than 150 cities across the globe.

Last year the airport handled 56,057,751 passengers, making it the 12th busiest airport worldwide by passenger traffic. It also surpassed Memphis International Airport to become the world's busiest airport for cargo traffic.
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Old August 5th, 2013, 05:55 AM   #4340
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Hong Kong must exhaust all other options before building third runway
Albert Cheng suggests ways the Airport Authority could raise its handling capacity, not least by better co-ordinating its airspace traffic
19 July 2013
South China Morning Post
I have always objected to a third runway, mainly because the airport still has not fully utilised the capacity of the existing two runways. Building a third runway is not only a waste of resources; it will also seriously affect the nearby natural environment.
The problem stems from the fact that the director general of civil aviation is trying to play safe and has thus limited aircraft movements to 64 flights per hour for the two-runway system. By 2015, aircraft movements are expected to reach 68 per hour.
This is way below international standards. Take Heathrow for example. Its two runways handle up to 80 aircraft movements per hour.
Okay, but LHR is at 98% capacity and it only takes one incident to screw everything up.

Quote:
If only Hong Kong could shake off its conservative management mindset, the airport could almost certainly immediately increase its runway capacity to reach international standards. That way, we could save resources and wouldn't need a third runway.
In fact, when the airport was still under construction, a British aviation consultant set the hourly aircraft movements at 75. But civil aviation chief Norman Lo Shung-man said aircraft movements could only reach 68 by 2015, rejecting what the consultant had said.
What could be the reasons for these restrictions? One is that our airport cannot increase the hourly aircraft movements due to our restricted airspace. In other words, the airspace congestion problem is not caused by a traffic bottleneck on the runways, but by the limited airspace.
New York City has the same issue but supposedly more runways and air space realignment should eliminate that issue.

Quote:
Former civil aviation chief Albert Lam Kwong-yu said previously that the Hong Kong and national aviation authorities had already reached a consensus on how to manage the airspace to the north of the airport. But the current chief appears to have rejected this consensus and chosen a regressive path instead.
That's why we should look again at the option of expanding air space in the north.
That will only help permit the rise of capacity from 65-75.
Quote:
A third runway won't really resolve the problem; even this new runway would not be fully utilised.
Another reason why the runways are underutilised is the lack of professional talent. The civil aviation department blames a lack of locally trained air traffic controllers for not being able to raise the number of aircraft movements.

This is a rather backward-looking attitude. If we have a shortage of controllers, why not recruit overseas professionals? With more air traffic controllers, we can boost runway capacity and the airport would be able to handle more aircraft movements.
Would this really help? I am not sure if this is all necessarily true or not.

Quote:
Lo and his department just seem full of excuses and are resistant to change.

Another point worth focusing on is synchronising our computer communication system with that of the mainland aviation authority. Hong Kong uses the American Raytheon system at the air traffic control centre, while the mainland uses the French Thales system.

If we can synchronise our computer systems, no doubt we would be able to further enhance communication and help boost traffic capacity.

I am not blindly objecting to airport expansion, but cost effectiveness is important.

At present, our airport is rather busy and congested mainly because of a lack of areas to park aircraft. To resolve this, we don't need a third runway, but rather a third terminal to increase parking spaces.
That will only do oh so much.

Quote:
With the mainland's rapid economic development, the role of Hong Kong's airport as an international aviation hub will gradually diminish, as it is replaced by the airports in Guangzhou and Shenzhen as economic expansion focuses on the Pearl River Delta.

Even if our airport is not replaced completely, the shift of focus will lessen our role and competitive edge. That's why building a third runway would be ineffective and would only create a white elephant.

Hong Kong needs development, but not ineffective development that ultimately turns into wasteful white elephants and stirs public opposition and discontent.

We should focus our resources and strengths to further enhance our development advantages. We need to always be one step ahead in our mindset to remain in a leading position. To increase our competitiveness and advantages doesn't mean expansion.

A sensible approach is to increase our airport's hourly aircraft movements to 75 and build a third passenger terminal as soon as possible. Big is not always effective - substance is far more important.

Albert Cheng King-hon is a political commentator.
I am not sure I agree if HKG will lose its role.
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