Airports Council International (ACI) has said it supports Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) building a third runway in Hong Kong to cope with the tremendous traffic growth in the region.
According to ACI Traffic Forecast for 2009 - 2029, global passenger traffic will reach 11 billion in 2029 and passenger traffic will grow by 4.1 per cent per annum over the next 20 years.
“It is crucial that airports in the region act promptly in response to the expected increase in traffic demand,” Patti Chau, ACI Asia Pacific regional director.
“The airports need to review its development plan with its local authorities and stakeholders to ensure there is enough capacity in its facilities to meet future demands.
“If you look back to 1990 when Hong Kong was planning for a new airport, it was forecasted by 2010 HKIA will handle 45 million passengers but in reality HKIA handled 50 million passengers in 2010.
“It is therefore important for authorities to have a long-term view in mapping out airport development projects.”
Total passenger traffic in the Asia and Pacific region is expected to nearly quadruple from 1.2 billion passengers in 2009 to over four billion in 2029.
The region is also expected to generate nearly 50 per cent of all new global passenger demand over the next 20 years, a direct challenge to the airports in the region.
Commenting on the recommendation for a three-runway system made by the Board of Airport Authority Hong Kong to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, Chau said: “An airport is vital to the local economy that it serves.
“To set out a future airport development plan is therefore critical for Hong Kong. Hence, we are pleased to see the strong and favourable community support to build a third runway at HKIA according to the research conducted by the Social Sciences Research Centre of the University of Hong Kong,” she concluded.