The huge project to develop a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport got underway this week.
The so-called ‘3RS’ development is expected run for eight years, with completion scheduled for 2024. It will involve the reclamation of approximately 650 hectares of land from the Pearl River Delta, bounded by a 13.4km sea wall, and will comprise a new passenger building, 57 aircraft parking bays and taxiways, as well as the new runway.
“The 3RS is a critical infrastructure project to support the aviation industry and the long-term economic development of Hong Kong. We urgently need this expansion project as HKIA’s existing two-runway system is reaching its full capacity soon,” said Jack So Chak-kwong, chairman of Hong Kong’s Airport Authority (AA).
“With the additional capacity to be provided by the 3RS, airlines can provide more destinations and more frequent flights, and passengers will have more choices and convenience.
“Some 139,000 man-years of construction jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase, with some 123,000 direct employments created upon the commencement of the 3RS operation,” he added.
The new passenger building will be connected to HKIA’s existing Terminal 2, which will also need to be modified and expanded in order to provide full departure and arrival facilities for the third runway.
The 3RS will also include the addition of a new high-speed baggage handling system and expanded road and transportation networks. The scale of development, according to the AA, will be similar to the construction of a new airport.
Upon completion, the 3RS will be able to handle an additional 30 million passengers per year, raising the total capacity of HKIA to around 100 million annual passengers by 2030.
To offset the cost of the project, the AA has announced the implementation of a new passenger tax, or “Airport Construction Fee” (ACF), which came into effect this week.