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Old September 9th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #121
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Well, Cathay doesn't want to be a guinea pig and suffer through the production delays that launch customers had to face. Currently, Emirates is also flying the A380 to HKG.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 06:20 PM   #122
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North Satellite

By Star Alliance from HKADB :

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Old October 19th, 2010, 09:56 AM   #123
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HK aims to sustain edge as aviation hub
Chek Lap Kok sees rising air travel traffic as demand from Pearl River Delta grows

4 October 2010
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong may have lost its competitive edge over the Pearl River Delta in terms of manufacturing and shipping, but it still holds its leading role as an international aviation hub.

Over the past several decades, the delta's lower costs have hollowed out Hong Kong's role as a manufacturing centre, and earlier this year Shenzhen overtook Hong Kong as the world's third-busiest container port.

In contrast, as a sign of Hong Kong's continuing competitiveness as an international air travel hub, millions of mainland travellers use Chek Lap Kok airport as a transit point to or from international destinations because airports in the Pearl River Delta do not have as many international flights. Nearly 10 million mainland passengers used Hong Kong airport in the 2009-2010 fiscal year, accounting for 21 per cent of the 46.9 million passengers that year, said a Hong Kong Airport Authority spokesman. "The multimodal transport services of Hong Kong International Airport are rising in popularity among Pearl River Delta travellers," the spokesman said. "Fuelled by the booming economy of the Pearl River Delta, we expect air traffic demand in the region will continue to grow. Hong Kong International Airport's traffic will also rise."

Guangzhou and Shenzhen airports offer more mainland connections, but Hong Kong beats them in international connections. Hong Kong has air links to 110 international and 40 mainland destinations, according to the Hong Kong Airport Authority. In comparison, Shenzhen International Airport offers flights to more than 90 mainland cities and, according to the airport's website, has traffic rights with 37 countries. About 30 international destinations are actually served, although about half of those are for freight services only. As of the end of last year, Guangzhou Baiyun Airport offered 143 mainland and 54 international flight routes, according to the airport's 2009 annual report.

The Hong Kong Airport Authority was seeking to increase land and sea links between the Pearl River Delta and Hong Kong airport, said Alaina Shum, general manager of the authority. "We offer land and sea intermodal transport to the Pearl River Delta."

In July, the authority revamped its system of limousines and coaches connecting Hong Kong airport with the Pearl River Delta, increasing the frequency of services, Shum said at a recent South China transport infrastructure conference in Shenzhen.

Last year, 1.3 million passengers travelled between the delta and Hong Kong airport in limousines and coaches; the number was 900,000 in the first seven months of this year and was predicted to rise to 1.5 million for the whole of this year, Shum said.

Hong Kong airport offered 460 daily coach trips connecting 115 destinations in the Pearl River Delta, as well as 260 limousines offering cross-border transport services, said the authority's spokesman.

The authority was looking to increase the number of ferry trips from the SkyPier marine terminal at Chek Lap Kok airport, which opened in January, Shum said.

SkyPier offers 107 ferry rides per day to eight ports in the Pearl River Delta. The daily average passenger number on these ferries was between 6,000 and 7,000, but on peak days the daily passenger number reached 10,000, she said. Last month, SkyPier achieved a monthly high of 227,000 passengers, up 33 per cent from a year ago, while Hong Kong airport's cross-border coaches and limousines served 163,000 passengers, a yearly increase of 41 per cent and also a new record, said the authority spokesperson.

Within a 140-kilometre radius, there are five major airports in the Pearl River Delta - Hong Kong, Macau, Zhuhai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou - which were under the separate sovereign jurisdictions of the British, Portuguese and Chinese governments when they were built, said Colman Ng, assistant director-general of the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department.

"We did fight, but we did have discussions as to who controls what and takes which piece of airspace. Fortunately, we are now under the same country, China. That's why we managed to have discussions," Ng said at the Shenzhen conference.

Since last year, Hong Kong airport and other airports in the Pearl River Delta had set up a working group to meet regularly to improve co-ordination of airspace over the delta and improve flight procedures.

"We have been doing very well in the past. How are we going to sustain our competitive edge? This is where we will work hard, to increase traffic capacity. We have a plan to increase runway and airspace capacity to improve our competitiveness as a major international aviation hub," he said.

If Hong Kong airport decided to build a third runway, its air traffic could rise to 102 aircraft movements per hour in 2020 from 59 at present, Ng said. A third runway would take 10 years to build at a cost of tens of billions of dollars, he added.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 02:36 PM   #124
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By 3ASV196 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :

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Old December 20th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #125
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Report pushes urgent need for third runway
6 December 2010
SCMP

Hong Kong urgently needs a third airport runway to stay ahead of competition in the region, says a think tank led by former government officials.

Chek Lap Kok would have to turn away flights by 2017 as it reached full capacity, handing business to fast-growing neighbours, said former Lands Department director Patrick Lau Lai-chui, convenor of the airport study group of the Hong Kong Ideas Centre.

The group released its report, Urgent Greenlight for Third Runway, yesterday for the Airport Authority to consider in its review of the need for another runway. Its review will be announced in a few weeks, followed by public consultation.

The two existing runways were now at 93 per cent of capacity and would reach 100 per cent by 2017 based on annual growth of 6.5 per cent and taking into account enhancement measures designed to increase capacity, Lau said.

As it took about 10 years to build a new runway, the airport would have to go through four years - 2017 to 2021 - of total capacity even if a new runway was approved next year, he said.

The airport was introducing measures to boost capacity, including easing flight procedures, hiring more air traffic controllers and renewing the air traffic control system, said former director general of civil aviation Albert Lam Kwong-yu, also a member of the study group.

Assuming that it operated for 18 hours a day - two more than now - and considering the above measures, it could handle 68 planes an hour by 2015, up from 59 now. That would mean pushing the maximum aircraft movements up from 27,200, in October, to an average of 37,233 a month in 2017, he said.

But these measures would not be able to cater to an estimated passenger and cargo traffic growth rate of 6.5 per cent, and the airport would be full by 2017, he said.

The city's airport was the world's busiest in terms of cargo throughput, and ranked third in international passenger traffic, Lau said, citing figures from the Airports Council International. But the city's edge over its neighbours would diminish as airports in Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Singapore and on the mainland all had expansion plans to cope with the rising demand, he said.

Lau said expanding the airport would create jobs, but he did not elaborate on environmental issues, saying only "they will need to be addressed and can be addressed".

Roy Tam Hoi-ping, of Green Sense, said the group opposed an extra runway because "it can't be built without hurting the environment. Not to mention the area in question is home to a lot of dolphins".

A third runway was likely to need reclamation north of Lantau, close to the Sha Chau and Lung Kwu Chau Marine Park, and would create noise for Tung Chung residents, he said.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #126
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City sees arrivals hit record, welcomes 50 millionth visitor
29 December 2010
SCMP

A recovering economy and a depreciating Hong Kong dollar pushed visitor arrivals, flight passenger volumes and cargo tonnage to record high levels this year.

The number of visitors broke through 32 million during the first 11 months of 2010 - surpassing that of the whole of last year. The Airport Authority also saw the 50 millionth passenger land at Chek Lap Kok airport on Christmas Day.

The figures reinforced desperate calls for the construction of a third runway, with a think tank saying Chek Lap Kok would have to turn away flights by 2017 if passenger volume grew annually by only 6.5 per cent. That projection already takes into account enhancement measures to increase capacity.

The authority's chief executive Stanley Hui Hon-chung said a plan on the airport's future - which includes the feasibility of building a third runway - would be released for public consultation in six months.

"We will unveil in early 2011 a midfield development project that will result in a new passenger concourse and 20 additional parking stands by 2015," Hui said. There would also be a master plan to outline the airport's aviation demands and development needs over the next 20 years.


Mainlanders continued to fuel the robust growth in Hong Kong's tourism as more than 20.4 million visitors crossed the border between January and November this year, a jump of 26.7 per cent over a year ago.

But Russians and Indians were the ones who topped the growth list. A visa-free arrangement between Russia and Hong Kong, coupled with Cathay Pacific's launch of the city's first direct flights to Moscow, helped double Russian arrivals during the first 11 months. Year-on-year growth for Indian visitors over the same period was 47.2 per cent.

Meanwhile, arrivals from Japan, buoyed by a strong yen, and South Korea rose by almost a quarter to about two million.

More than 18 million visitors stayed at least one night in Hong Kong, amounting to more than half of the total number of arrivals and marking a year-on-year rise of nearly 20 per cent. Most of the increase came from South and Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea.

The authority warned of slower growth in the months ahead as the base for comparison had widened, but Hui said the airport would enhance manpower and aircraft parking spaces to cater for another boom during the Lunar New Year holiday.

The lucky tourist who became the 50 millionth passenger to land in Chek Lap Kok this year - a record high - was Singaporean Wong Seng-hoe. He said it was the best Christmas gift as he pocketed nearly HK$190,000 worth of gifts and cash vouchers from the authority.

Returning home yesterday with his wife and daughter, the businessman said he would make sure he did not waste the coupons - which can be used only at Chek Lap Kok's retailers. "I am a frequent flyer and pass through Hong Kong in transit at least six times a year. The coupons are just perfect for me to do some homecoming shopping for my wife."
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Old January 17th, 2011, 07:34 PM   #127
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LCQ20: Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030
12 January 2011
Government Press Release

Following is a question by the Hon Albert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Legislative Council meeting today (January 12):

Question:

Recently, quite a number of members of the public have relayed to me that they are worried that more members of the public in Hong Kong will be affected by the nuisance caused by aircraft noise upon the construction of the third runway of the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the authorities have completed the feasibility study on the construction of the third runway; if so, of the details of the study report; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether it has assessed if the commissioning of the third runway will aggravate the aircraft noise problem in Tung Chung, Ma Wan and Tsing Lung Tau; if the outcome of study is in the affirmative, of the details; if the outcome indicates otherwise, the reasons for that; and

(c) which other districts will also be affected by aircraft noise upon the commissioning of the third runway; of the details about the areas which will be exposed to aircraft noise from the third runway, together with a Noise Exposure Forecast 25 Contour map of the third runway indicating such areas; if such a contour map is not available, of the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

(a) The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) is formulating the Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030 on airport developments in the next twenty years, exploring different development strategies and options, including the feasibility of building a third runway, and conducting preliminary feasibility studies on these options. These studies are substantially completed, and the AA is drafting a study report.

The AA expects the public consultation on the Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030 to begin in the first half of 2011. It will release a consultation paper and the study report, and invite the public and stakeholders to comment on the strategies and directions of airport development.

(b) & (c) Noise Exposure Forecast (NEF) contours, which are an aircraft noise-related standard in land planning, are used to define areas where certain noise sensitive land uses should not be located. The NEF 25 contours previously published are based on the maximum design capacity of the airport in forecasting the impact of aircraft noise on the areas in the vicinity of the airport. The studies related to the Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030 include preliminary environmental impact assessment, which includes reviewing and updating the NEF 25 contours on the basis of the latest airport design capacity. The consultation paper and study report to be released by the AA will include the updated information, which needs to be further confirmed by the AA in the statutory environmental impact assessment to be conducted in the future.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #128
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Hong Kong Airport's 2 Runways To Reach Full Capacity By End-2020
31 January 2011

HONG KONG -(Dow Jones)- The two runways at Hong Kong's international airport will reach full handling capacity by the end of 2020 if aircraft movements continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of around 5%, the director-general of the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department, Norman Lo, said Monday.

Airport Authority Hong Kong, which operates Hong Kong's international airport and is controlled by the government, is finalizing a long-term development blueprint, and plans to consult the public by the first half of this year on the potential economic and environmental impact of constructing a third runway. The plan comes as competition intensifies from airports in neighboring cities.

Hong Kong's airport has been building new facilities to manage the increasing demand, including a new terminal and a new air traffic control center. Still, the availability of runway capacity remains a constraint, particularly during peak hours.

Lo said Hong Kong airport will be able to handle a maximum of 68 aircraft movements per hour by 2015, up from 60 now, thanks to new technology that will make it safer to allow increased activity. Aircraft movements include both take-offs and landings.

Lo declined to speculate on whether Hong Kong will lose competitiveness as an international aviation hub if it fails to expand its capacity further by constructing a third runway.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 05:36 AM   #129
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Logistics bodies join chorus for third runway
26 February 2011
SCMP

Exporters and freight forwarders have thrown their weight behind plans to build a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport. They said the facility needed to be built within the next seven to 10 years if the city was to maintain its position as a trading and airfreight hub.

Paul Tsui, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics (Haffa), said the current runways at Hong Kong International Airport would reach full capacity in 2016 or 2017.

"If by 2016-17 we don't allow any new landing slots, airlines will go to other airports - Shenzhen or Guangzhou," he said.

The Hong Kong Shippers' Council said building the runway was vital to trade and the logistics industry. The group said the need for another runway should be put into "the context of the phenomenal growth of Hong Kong's air cargo industry".

The volume of airfreight rose 23.4 per cent to 4.1 million tonnes last year and is forecast to climb to 5.9 million tonnes by 2014.

Sunny Ho Lap-kee, executive director of the council, said the runway was needed "as soon as possible" and the "government should make every effort to advance the construction date". He said taking into account the public consultation, environmental impact assessments, feasibility and engineering studies and construction, the runway could not be operational before 2020.

Council chairman Willy Lin Sun-mo said Hong Kong recently overtook Memphis to become the world's busiest international air cargo hub.

Haffa and the Shippers' Council are planning a series of seminars and press events in April to coincide with the start of the public consultation on the Airport Master Plan 2030 which includes the third runway.

With protests over the high-speed rail link to Guangzhou and environmental sensitivity about a third runway in mind, Ho said the public consultation should see if there was a solution for runway development that was "acceptable to all parties".

Tsui, who is also managing director of the freight forwarding company Janel Group, warned that without the runway investment Hong Kong International Airport could follow London's Heathrow and Japan's Narita airports, which had been starved of expansion. Heathrow had seen its number of flight connections with other airports fall to 184 from 220, and this would likely result in cargo and passenger traffic easing in the next two years.

Support for the third runway came as Cathay Pacific said it will expand its cargo carrying capacity with 15 new aircraft this year. The first, an Airbus A330-300, will be delivered today in Toulouse, France, and make its first revenue flight to Sydney on March 1.

A Boeing 777-300ER will delivered at the end of March and enter service on routes to California. A further 13 aircraft, including six 120-tonne capacity Boeing 747-8 freighters, will join the fleet by December.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 04:03 PM   #130
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LCQ14: Tourism development of Lantau
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Government Press Release

Following is a written reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, to a question by the Hon Paul Tse, in the Legislative Council today (March 2):

Question:

I have learnt that in recent years, an international group operating large-scale outlet malls has been holding discussions with the Hong Kong SAR Government (SAR Government) to request the Government to allocate land in the vicinity of the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok for the development of a large-scale international outlet mall in order to attract visitors to Hong Kong and encourage spending by transit passengers through selling commodities of renowned brand names from various countries. Since 2008, the international group has discussed with the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, the Transport and Housing Bureau, the Development Bureau and the Airport Authority on different occasions, yet there is no policy bureau in the SAR Government to centrally deal with the development of tourism infrastructure and attractions, and the international group has continued to knock the door but to no avail. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has assessed the economic benefits (including the number of visitors and transit passengers to be attracted to spend money in Hong Kong) to be brought about by the aforesaid proposed development plan;

(b) which government department(s) is/are responsible for processing applications relating to the aforesaid development plan at present; of the progress and the reasons why no progress has been made after so many years;

(c) given that the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE) has all along been criticised for being too far away from the town centre, which has led to its low utilisation, whether the authorities have assessed if the development of the aforesaid outlet mall in the vicinity of the airport will actually help enhance the utilisation of AWE and even the airport; and

(d) given that I have learnt that the management echelons of the various tourist attractions on Lantau Island are discussing the strengthening of co-operation among different attractions in the hope of producing a synergy effect, whether the Government will examine if the construction of a large-scale outlet mall in the vicinity of the Airport can boost the aforesaid synergy effect, and whether such an outlet mall will play a catalytic role in formulating specific plans for the development of tourism on Lantau Island; if it will so examine, of the time required; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply:

President,

My reply to the various parts of the question from the Hon Paul Tse is as follows.

(a) and (b) The Tourism Commission is responsible for co-ordinating the development of tourism infrastructure in Hong Kong and making tourism policy. It maintains close communications with other policy bureaux and departments with a view to ensuring the smooth implementation of various tourism-related projects.

In the first half of 2009, an international group put forward a proposal of developing a large-scale outlet mall on the Airport Island to the HKSAR Government. We have proactively explored this proposal and convened cross-policy bureau meetings to study carefully the location and feasible options of developing a large-scale outlet mall at or near the airport.

The group originally proposed to develop the mall on a car park site adjacent to the AsiaWorld-Expo (AWE). Since part of the proposed site has been earmarked for accommodating essential airport operational facilities, the site is not available for use as a large-scale outlet mall. Given that Terminal 2 of the airport has sufficient supporting facilities, the Government has suggested the group to develop the mall there with a view to implementing the afore-mentioned proposal as soon as possible. However, the group insisted that they were only interested in developing a large-scale outlet mall on the car park site adjacent to the AWE.

As no suitable site could be found on the Airport Island, the Government replied to the group in August 2009, explaining why the proposed site was not available. The reply mentioned that the Government would continue to search for a suitable site for the development of a large-scale outlet mall and the site would be granted through an open and competitive process once it was identified.

Regarding the economic benefits of the proposal from the international group, we are not in a position to make a detailed assessment in the absence of concrete details, such as the exact location and scale of the proposed mall as well as the types of products to be sold there.

(c) The AWE is a large-scale convention and exhibition facility in Hong Kong. It is suitable for hosting different types of events such as large-scale trade fairs, conferences and concerts. Its target clientele mainly includes exhibitors and buyers from around the world, conference participants as well as concert spectators etc. In November 2010, over 900,000 people visited the AWE when the animated version of the "Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival" was on display there.

The AWE's location makes it very convenient for exhibitors and visitors to set off directly from the airport. There are also bus services connecting the AWE with the Mainland. During most of the AWE's event days, bus services between the AWE and Tung Chung as well as urban areas will be enhanced, while the MTR Corporation Limited will also provide concessionary fares for passengers travelling to the AWE by the Airport Express. The HKSAR Government and the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) have been proactively assisting the AWE in attracting more organisations to stage exhibitions there. The Hong Kong Trade Development Council is also actively exploring the feasibility of holding more new shows at the AWE. In fact, the AWE's single-storey, column-free and high-ceiling design makes it very suitable for the relevant trades to organise exhibitions with large-scale equipment. A successful example is the Asian Aerospace International Expo and Congress to be held again at the AWE in March this year.

On the other hand, a large-scale outlet mall is used for selling brand products from various parts of the world and mainly serves consumers and shoppers. Hence, its purpose and target clientele hugely differ from those of the AWE.

Though the development of a large-scale outlet mall near the airport could provide an additional leisure facility for the AWE users, this would not directly help enhance the utilisation of the AWE because different organisations have different considerations while taking up rental space at the AWE. Whether the proposed mall could increase the utilisation of the airport would depend on whether it could attract additional visitors to travel to Hong Kong by air specifically for visiting this mall.

(d) The Government, the HKTB and management of various tourist attractions on Lantau have been maintaining close liaison. The management of these attractions have also been co-operating with each other with a view to attracting more visitors to Lantau. In November 2010, the Hong Kong Disneyland, Ngong Ping 360, Noah's Ark, the AWE and the Hong Kong International Airport jointly offered discounts on the occasion of the display of the animated version of the "Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival" at the AWE. Visitors with tickets to this exhibition could enjoy admission, dining and shopping discounts offered by these organisations. In addition, the Hong Kong Disneyland and Ngong Ping 360 have been frequently working with the tourism trade in developing tour packages.

The Tourism Commission is currently exploring with the management of various attractions on Lantau and the Islands District Council on how to further enhance the tourism appeal of Lantau. The main focus is on how to enhance co-operation in respect of promotion and improving transport connection, and does not involve developing any new infrastructural facilities such as a large-scale outlet mall near the airport. On the other hand, the HKTB will leverage on the characteristics of Lantau and other outlying islands in developing new tourism products and itineraries featuring various attractions so as to attract more family, vacation and business visitors. We welcome any proposals that could help promote tourism development of Lantau and stand ready to explore feasible options with relevant organisations or people.
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Old April 17th, 2011, 07:15 AM   #131
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Cargo area construction (April 2011)
Source : http://pic.feeyo.com/posts/529/5292375.html

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Old May 17th, 2011, 06:23 PM   #132
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Dubai Airport boss joins calls for third HK runway
10 May 2011
SCMP

Paul Griffiths, a former senior executive of Dragonair and now chief executive of fast-growing Dubai Airports, warned yesterday that Hong Kong faces losing its leading trade and aviation role if it failed to invest in a third runway at Chek Lap Kok airport.

Griffiths, who was also instrumental in launching direct flights between Hong Kong and London for Virgin Atlantic Airways, said if growth was constrained then Hong Kong could lose traffic to other hubs - regional cities including Singapore and Seoul and global aviation centres such as Dubai.

He said a failure by Hong Kong to invest in additional infrastructure, including a third runway, to meet projected demand would likely lead to a shift by airlines and passengers away from Hong Kong. This in turn would hurt the city economically.

Carriers "would go somewhere else and go somewhere else permanently", he said. Cathay Pacific had developed into a good, home-based carrier with an enviable brand, but if growth was constrained "it can't be good for the company or the region".

"People will vote with their feet and go elsewhere. I think for Hong Kong there is a lot of danger of that happening," Griffiths said.

Several other senior figures in the aviation world have backed building a third runway. They include Martin Broughton, the chairman of British Airways, and Giovanni Bisignani, director general and chief executive of the International Airline Transport Association. Both warned Hong Kong could lose its economic competitiveness and international connectivity without a third runway.

Pointing to the growth of Dubai airport, Griffiths said: "Over the next decade, passenger traffic will climb 7.2 per cent annually to 98.5 million, while cargo volumes will increase at an annual average of 6.7 per cent to 4.1 million tonnes.

"This year we will handle 50 million passengers. We will be overtaking Hong Kong for the No 3 spot in a year or two."

He said Dubai would go on to beat London and Paris to become the busiest international passenger airport by 2015.

To cope with the forecast growth, Dubai will expand the existing airport to 90 million passengers by 2018. It will build the world's largest airport - Dubai World Central - 35 kilometres from the existing airport over the next 20 years.

Explaining the reasons for such expansion, Griffiths said: "It's the alignment of national ambition, coupled with liberal government policies and a lack of intervention in the commercial operations of the companies in the sector that has created the environment for tremendous growth."

He said there were similarities between Dubai and Hong Kong: both were major trading centres and while Dubai had India as its biggest market, Hong Kong had the mainland.

Griffiths said he understood in-depth discussions surrounding the proposed third runway at Hong Kong were about to begin in earnest. He urged the balance of benefit and impact be carefully considered when making a decision.
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Old May 28th, 2011, 06:54 AM   #133
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Third runway consultation to begin
27 May 2011
SCMP

Public consultation on a controversial HK$80 billion third runway at Hong Kong International Airport is set to get under way next week.

The start of the consultation - confirmed by people with a knowledge of the situation - will see battle lines drawn for a fresh clash between conservationists and proponents of big-spending capital projects to fire economic development.

Chinese white dolphins, pollution, project costs and a reclamation area of up to 650 hectares - the second-largest in Hong Kong history - are expected to be some of the major issues fought over.

A 2030 master plan for the airport is expected to be tabled at the Executive Council on Tuesday, followed by a public consultation seeking views on a third runway.

With the airport's capacity expected to reach saturation in the next decade, there have been mounting calls for expansion over the past year. A think tank headed by former government officials, as well as various senior aviation industry officials have all said a third runway was necessary if Hong Kong was to stay ahead of competition in the region.

However, while the community has questioned the need for the project, which will cost even more than the controversial HK$66.9 billion high-speed rail line to Guangzhou, a person familiar with the plan said the costs would only be discussed if the project secured the support of the majority of Hong Kong people.

Funding could come in many forms, such as a direct injection by the government, or government loan resembling the case of Disneyland, issuance of retail bonds, or by imposing a surcharge on passengers.

Sensitive to the controversy that such projects provoke, executives and officials began lobbying with fishermen and councillors from the five most affected districts six months ago. Sources said the authorities even contacted groups such as Roundtable, the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Clubs and the 30s Group - some of whom protested against the high-speed rail project - in a bid to smooth the path.

However, environmentalists warned that even if the runway had majority support, chances are that it would not pass an environmental impact assessment.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 10:54 AM   #134
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Great debate on HK$80b third runway begins
31 May 2011
SCMP

Some sharp questions will be asked about the government's proposed HK$80 billion third runway at Chek Lap Kok airport when a consultation on the project begins on Thursday.

The aviation industry is united in its call for a third runway, believing it is needed for Hong Kong to maintain its position as a leading aviation hub in the region. But critics are quick to point out that there are cheaper options, such as forming a strategic alliance with nearby Shenzhen airport.

A proposed rail link, estimated at HK$50 billion, would connect the two and many hope that by pooling resources, both airports could reduce the need for unnecessary expansion. The idea of the rail link is being considered by the government, although a detailed plan will not be ready for two years.

The Civic Party's vice-chairman, Albert Lai Kwong-tak, said the government should table both proposals to the public for consideration.

"Nearly 30 per cent of our flights go to the mainland," Lai said. "If those passengers can go to Shenzhen airport by using the airport link, we may not need an extra runway." He led a popular campaign against a project to link Hong Kong with the mainland's high-speed rail network and was behind a recent judicial review against the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau bridge.

But supporters of the new runway said the two projects were not mutually exclusive.

A person familiar with the situation said the proposed railway was never meant to be a replacement for the third runway.

"Most of that 30 per cent patronage is from direct flights between Hong Kong and Beijing and Shanghai. Those passengers may not want to take a detour to Shenzhen airport, even if there is a rail link between them," the source said.

"The link is meant to open a whole new market for local travellers who can go to Shenzhen and fly from there to second- and third-tier mainland cities that do not have direct flights with Hong Kong."

The rail link was once classified as one of 10 major infrastructure projects in 2008. But a lack of obvious benefits has seen it being put on hold for further study.

The Airport Authority estimates that the two runways at Chek Lap Kok will run out of capacity by 2020. Air traffic will have to be slowed if there is no third runway.

But even if the runway can be justified economically, it remains to be seen if it can pass environmental impact tests.

Some environmentalists have raised concerns over the possible impacts on air quality and the endangered Chinese white dolphins. They say the government needs to come up with plans to lessen the damage.

Executives close to the runway project say that, while a new reclamation method will be adopted to minimise disturbance to marine life, changes to aircraft directions will also alleviate noise problems faced by residents on the island of Ma Wan.

"The south runway, whose flight path is closest to Ma Wan, will serve as a backup when the new runway on the northern side of the existing north runway comes into place."

Air passenger and cargo volume at Hong Kong airport rose 10.3 per cent to 50.92 million and 23.3 per cent to 4.13 million tonnes respectively last year. The two businesses continued to expand during the first four months this year.
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Old June 30th, 2011, 09:20 AM   #135
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Airport upgrade warrants more options
11 June 2011
China Daily - Hong Kong Edition

On June 2 the Airport Authority (AA) released its "Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030". One option outlined is a plan to upgrade the two existing runways at a cost of HK$23.4 billion with HK$432 billion of economic benefits. The other option is to build a third runway with an investment of HK$86.2 billion, accruing HK$912 billion of economic benefits over 50 years.

Which one do you choose? As the first upgrading option will still see saturation of airport capacity by 2017, then the obvious answer is the second option judging by its face value. I will certainly vote for option two if there is no third option on the table. But are there in fact any more viable alternatives?

I believe other related factors should be considered before making any decision. The first is about the site area and location of the airport. With two existing runways, the total site area of the airport is about 1,255 hectares. With an additional third runway, the total site area would then be 1,905 hectares. That is to say about 650 hectares of land will have to be reclaimed from the sea for the second option to work. As the reclamation will be carried out at a rather deeper seabed compared with the existing runway, the land reclamation alone will cost HK$38.9 billion plus an additional HK$9 billion to prevent the release of toxic mud.

This cost will be sufficient to build a new airport in the New Territories with one runway (option three). Then the new second airport could cater for another runway and meet needs beyond the 2030s or 2040s. But in the current option two, when all three runways are at full capacity by the 2030s, it will be impossible to build the fourth runway. So what will our options be if other potential locations have already been occupied?

The second factor concerns economic benefit. At first glimpse, one may believe the economic benefits from option two (HK$912 billion) is much better than option one (HK$432 billion), but if the investment between option two (HK$86.2 billion) and option one (HK$23.4 billion) are compared, it appears that option one will produce better benefits in terms of returns in the future, provided that there is another airport development before option one is saturated in 2017. If this is the case, then the combination of option one and option three appears to be better than option two alone.

Both option one and option two have the same capacity of 34 flights per runway per hour, thus the total capacity of option one ( with two runways) will be 68, and option two (with three runways) 102 per hour respectively. My third related issue is with how we can increase this capacity. Technically speaking, the capacity of any runway depends on aircraft types, its taxiway system, air traffic control techniques, and apron capacity, landing aids etc. If all conditions are satisfactory, the world maximum figure could rise to 50 flights per hour under the Visual Flight Rule. I wonder whether the Hong Kong record could be improved from 34 to 40 or 45 flights per hour without sacrificing safety as the first priority. If the capacity for the existing runways to handle flight movement could be substantially expanded, then the time before saturation would be extended.

The fourth factor regards the air traffic forecast. Flight movements at Chek Lap Kok International Airport have risen on average by 6.5 percent per year, and the two existing runways will become saturated by 2017. Although the growth figures may be accurate in retrospect, it may not necessarily have the same accuracy in forecasting the future. The reasons are twofold: one is the competition from adjacent airports, particularly Shenzhen Baoan Airport and Guangzhou Baiyun Airport. As they can build their airports with similar flight capacity at a cost of about 10 percent of that of Hong Kong, they collect much less airport charges than Hong Kong. Notwithstanding that the Hong Kong AA is operating under prudent commercial principles, Hong Kong AA may not compete with its adjacent counterparts respecting airport charges as Hong Kong has a much more expansive airport.

The other reason is the development of the super railway and highway networks on the mainland. In light of China developing the fastest super railway system in the world, a short-haul flight of up to 800 kilometers cannot compete in terms of cost and time, unless Hong Kong can have much shorter check-in time, cheaper tickets and more frequent flights. Medium-haul flights of about 2,000 km may also find it difficult to compete with the super railway network. With a more convenient highway network, Hong Kong residents who live in Kowloon and New Territories (East and North) may also prefer to use Shenzhen Baoan Airport rather than Hong Kong Chek Lap kok Airport in the future.

Based on this twofold analysis, I believe the forecast of 6.5 percent growth is too optimistic as short distance flights will be reduced, and medium-haul flights may have not grown as expected. If I remember correctly, the government had briefed the Legislative Council on its plan to proceed with the privatization exercise of the airport in February 2004, and the Economic Development and Labour Bureau published a consultation document on Partial Privatization of the AA in November 2004 that showed an unsatisfactory equity return of less than 2 percent in a worst-case scenario. It would be really interesting to note what made the AA take a U-turn on the subject of airport development.

I do not mean to discourage Hong Kong airport development. On the contrary, I strongly believe Hong Kong should have a wise strategy for airport development in order to maintain its status as a center of international and regional aviation as required by Article 128 of the Basic Law. More options and deeper study are needed.

The author is a current affairs commentator.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 06:27 AM   #136
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Ma Wan fears third runway spells more sleepless nights
The Standard
Monday, July 18, 2011

Ma Wan residents said a third runway will mean more sleepless nights, amid a study showing that noise from flights may reach more than 80 decibels - similar to a level between highway traffic and discos.

The Airport Authority is seeking public views on whether to build a third runway north of the existing two on Chek Lap Kok. The three-month consultation will end on September 2.

Green Sense estimates that more than 80 flights overfly Park Island, a property development on Ma Wan, from 11pm to 7am each day.

Its investigation carried out between 11pm and 3am from July 9 to 15 found that noise from flights recorded on the rooftop of a Park Island block reached up to 84 decibels.

In Sham Tseng, the highest level recorded was 85 decibels while that in Sam Tung Uk, Tsuen Wan, was 71 decibels.

Green Sense vice president Jan Lai Ming-chuen, said: "If a third runway is built, more residents in Tsuen Wan, Tuen Mun and Siu Lam could be affected by noise from flights."

Chan King-ming, director of Chinese University's environmental science program, said if residents hear more than 70 decibels of noise every night, it may affect their mood and work performance.

Lam Wai-man, chairman of the Park Island Owners' Committee, said many residents keep their windows shut all day in summer because of the noise.

He called on the authority not to build the third runway but just expand the two- runway airport.

Lai urged the authority to avoid arranging night-time flights so as to minimize the impact on residents.

WWF-Hong Kong, meanwhile, has called on the authority to halt the public consultation until the "true environmental costs and environmental and ecological impacts are determined."
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Old August 10th, 2011, 07:54 AM   #137
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I don't understand how another runway will cause more "sleepless nights." There are still going to be flights coming in and out of the airport, regardless whether there will be an extra runway. It makes no sense.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 09:10 AM   #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkiller123 View Post
I don't understand how another runway will cause more "sleepless nights." There are still going to be flights coming in and out of the airport, regardless whether there will be an extra runway. It makes no sense.
Think their problem is more on flight path arrangements. Sure, another runway can lead to parallel landings and more planes flying over them, but it's already noisy enough with 2 runways.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 07:20 AM   #139
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Think their problem is more on flight path arrangements. Sure, another runway can lead to parallel landings and more planes flying over them, but it's already noisy enough with 2 runways.
Exactly.
If the Tung Chung residents aren't complaining, those in Ma Wan shouldn't even say a word.
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Old August 11th, 2011, 08:58 AM   #140
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkiller123 View Post
Exactly.
If the Tung Chung residents aren't complaining, those in Ma Wan shouldn't even say a word.
Tung Chung is actually not along the flight path. It's close to the airport but airplanes never directly fly over it (I'd be very scared if they do!).
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