Thursday, June 2, 2011

Third runway in Hong Kong finds supporters

Neelam Mathews
June 2,2011

As the three-month community consultation process kicks start on the need for a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) and Dragonair are firmly supporting the move) to address looming capacity constraints and support the continued successful development of the Hong Kong economy.

The additional capacity will have wide-ranging economic benefits for the community. “The Asia Pacific region is projected to achieve continuing strong economic growth in the coming decades, raising living standards across the region. If Hong Kong is going to maintain its competitive edge and take further advantage of new growth opportunities, work on constructing a third runway at HKIA really needs to start quite soon, given the long lead times involved. It is clearly a strategic and critical issue for Hong Kong, and its future ambitions to continue expanding its role as a major aviation hub for both passengers and cargo," Andrew Herdman, Director General AAPA.

Industry data from The International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that the industry’s development is moving eastwards: half of the world’s aviation profits in 2010-11 are from Asia; and more people are flying in Asia-Pacific with its aviation market set to overtake North America by 2014.  China is right at the centre of this growth in air traffic.

 “Hong Kong is ideally placed in the center of this sphere of growth, especially with regard to Asia and Mainland China in particular. Hong Kong has always been admired for our excellent software, human resources, management and services, and in order to keep us well equipped and not to lose out our prominence and share in the move of this economic and aviation growth, the development of compatible hardware - the 3rd runway - is imminent,” Dragonair Chief Executive Officer James Tong said

 “Air transport serves the community, and fully recognises the need to take into account environmental and social considerations when designing and building the required new infrastructure. We need constructive engagement with the various stakeholders and a broad community debate on these important issues to make sure any concerns are properly addressed and resolved,” said Herdman.

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