Jack So Chak-kwong, Chairman of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA), recently met with Li Jiaxiang, Director General of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in Beijing. During the meeting, Mr So introduced the latest developments at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), and also visited Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA) to learn about the progress of the new airport that is currently under construction.
Mr Li commended HKIA for being a world-class airport and air cargo centre for Asia, and added that the CAAC fully supports HKIA’s plan to expand into a three-runway system. He also said the CAAC will proactively implement various initiatives concerning airspace management in the Pearl River Delta region.
Mr So briefed Mr Li on HKIA’s recent traffic performance and the progress of important infrastructure projects. The AA chairman said the construction of HKIA’s three-runway system is expected to take eight years to complete. He added that the airport’s existing two-runway system is likely to reach full capacity by 2016 or 2017, underscoring the pressing need to expand as soon as possible.
Mr So also emphasised the importance of HKIA’s extensive flight network connecting many parts of the world as well as Hong Kong’s geographic position to the “One Belt, One Road” strategic development initiative. He stressed that the sooner the three-runway system project begins, the stronger Hong Kong’s connections to “One Belt, One Road” regions will be, enabling the city to benefit from the development strategy in the specific areas of funding and financing, trading, professional services, diversified tourism and emerging industries.
In addition, Mr So met with Liu Xuesong, Chairman of Beijing Capital International Airport Company Limited, to learn more about BCIA’s airport operations. The meeting included visits to the airport control center, terminal buildings and retail facilities, and progress updates on the second airport in Beijing that is currently under construction in Daxing district. The planned new airport will comprise seven runways and be able to handle 100 million passengers a year. The construction started at the end of last year and the first phase is expected to commence operation by 2019.
Mr So said the building of a second airport in Beijing reflects strong aviation demand in the region, and that every airport should equip with sufficient facilities in order to meet the increasing demand. He also said he hopes to strengthen the HK-Beijing communications and cooperation given the busy air traffic between the two destinations.