Officials from Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. have praised the Hong Kong government’s conditional approval of a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport.
In a press release, Hactl Managing Director Mark Whitehead explained why increased capacity is critical to HKIA’s current and future success. Last year, HKIA trumped Memphis International Airport as the world’s busiest cargo airport, ending the FedEx hub’s 18-year reign. Without a third runway, HKIA’s title could be in jeopardy, Whitehead said.
“The global airfreight market, and the market in this region in particular, is expected to grow in leaps and bounds in the next two decades,” he said in a statement. “HKIA needs to grow to meet the increases in volumes.”
Whitehead said a third runway will also give airlines operating out of HKIA room to grow and create jobs at the airport. Plus, it will also ensure aircraft movements can be “maintained at safe levels,” he remarked, and it will reduce the environmental impact of air traffic congestion.
Whitehead isn’t alone in his endorsement of a third runway at HKIA. A study conducted last year by the Social Sciences Research Centre of the University of Hong Kong found that more than 73 percent of respondents favor a three-runway system. The remaining responses showed conflicting opinions, with 17 percent maintaining neutrality and 11 percent electing to keep a two-runway system at HIA.
Moreover, 80 percent of respondents either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that the airport authority should make a prompt decision about HKIA’s proposed expansion; only 6 percent opposed coming to a swift conclusion.