The Executive Council has endorsed the three runway plan and asked the Airport Authority to take forward the project, which is estimated to cost $141.5 billion. Secretary for Transport & Housing Prof Anthony Cheung told the media today that, as the current two runway system will be full soon, Hong Kong International Airport needs a third runway to maintain its competitiveness as an aviation hub. The project will require the reclamation of 650 hectares of land and construction is expected to start next year.
Apart from the runway, additional taxiways, ramps, passenger transport and luggage processing facilities will be built. Terminal 2 will also be expanded to accommodate the additional traffic. The authority will fund the project with internal funds and borrowings, and by charging airlines and users. The authority will stop sharing its profit with the Government for 10 years to help fund the project.
It is also proposed that passengers pay an airport construction fee of $180 from next year. However, the Government has asked the authority to consider boosting external borrowing to lower the passenger charge. Prof Cheung said the Government will work with Mainland and Macau aviation authorities to implement an airspace enhancement plan, so the three runway system can meet its target of accommodating 102 flights an hour.