Home' Asian Aviation : AAV April 2011 Contents IATA calls for third Hong Kong runway
The International Air Transport Association
(IATA) is urging Hong Kong authorities to
move forward with plans to develop a third
runway at Hong Kong International Airport
(HKIA), which is currently operating at 90
percent of its capacity.
The calls come as public consultations on
the Airport Master Plan 2030 are due to start
HKIA was planned in 1992 to handle as
many as 87 million passengers and 9 million
tonnes of cargo a year, but a limit of 60
aircraft movements per hour restricts its
capacity to much less than this.
Traffic at the airport has grown faster than
anticipated, with the facility handling 51
million passengers last year. Hong Kong's Civil
Aviation Department has proposed increasing
runway movements to 68 per hour, but this
would only increase effective capacity to 55
million passengers a year.
The proposed, US$900 million midfield
terminal project will provide the passenger
handling capacity, but the current two
runways are near saturation, says IATA
Director General Giovanni Bisignani.
"The phenomenal growth of air transport
in Hong Kong has outpaced all projections
taken in the early 1990s. If Hong Kong wants
to continue to gain the economic benefits of
a growing aviation industry, a third runway
will be needed," Bisignani says. Hong Kong's
aviation industry employs 250,000 people
and generates 8 percent of the Special
Administrative Region's gross domestic
product, IATA notes.
Passenger traffic in Hong Kong is expected
to grow by 6.7 percent annually up to 2014,
from 45 million international passengers in
2009 to 62.2 million, making it the world's
tenth largest market for international travel.
Meanwhile, cargo volumes are expected
to grow from 3 million tonnes in 2009 to 5.3
million tonnes by 2014, at an average annual
growth of 12.2 percent -- the fastest in the
world. -- Emma Kelly
Avalon Airport in Victoria, Australia, is talking
to airlines about the possible introduction of
international services, although this would
probably be two years away, says airport
Chief Executive Officer Justin Giddings.
The facility currently supports domestic
flights operated by low-cost carriers (LCCs)
Jetstar and Tiger Airways. Some 900,000
passengers used the airport last year, with a
goal of increasing that figure to 1.4 million
per annum in the future.
Although seen as a low-cost airport,
Avalon is talking to full-service carriers as well
as LCCs about international connections,
says Giddings, with a particular emphasis
on connections to New Zealand and Asian
destinations. Discussions have previously been
held with AirAsia X, the long-haul affiliate of
Malaysian LCC AirAsia.
The Victorian States Government, which
has already committed to a rail link and fuel
pipeline to the airport, is supporting plans to
launch overseas flights. Three designs have
been proposed for an international terminal.
If the airport can secure an operator this
year, it would take 12 months to develop the
terminal, which would make international
services available in 2013.
"We would need to have a flight a day to
build the terminal, anything less could be
accommodated in an expanded domestic
terminal," says Giddings. Avalon is an
attractive proposition to operators, Giddings
believes, boasting cheaper fuel and lower
charges than Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport,
as well as being located only half an hour's
drive from the city's West Gate Bridge.
The current domestic terminal has the
capacity to handle 2.2 million passengers a
year, but Avalon has "enormous potential
to grow" with plenty of undeveloped land
Some A$18 million (US$17.94 million) has
already been spent on expanding the existing
apron and terminal which has added 30
percent to the facility and tripled the capacity
of the apron, says Giddings. The rail link is
earmarked for 2014 to start construction,
while work on the fuel pipeline is expected to
start in August or September this year.
-- Emma Kelly
NEWS IN BRIEF
NEWS IN BRIEF
SINGAPORE'S Changi Airport handled 3.79
million passenger movements in January
-- an 11.9 percent increase from the same
month a year earlier. Low-cost carriers
(LCCs) continued to drive growth to and
from north-east Asia and south-east Asia,
with Tiger Airways, AirAsia and Cebu Pacific
increasing frequencies to Hong Kong, Kuala
Lumpur and Manila. LCC traffic grew 27
percent compared to the same month a
year ago, while traffic on full-service carriers
grew 8 percent at 2.9 million passenger
INTERNATIONAL passenger traffic at
Melbourne Airport grew by 18 percent in
January to 630,979 -- exceeding 600,000 for
the first time. Traffic to and from China grew
by 33 percent, while figures for Singapore
increased 25 percent and Malaysia showed
a 22 percent gain. Passenger numbers to
and from New Zealand were up 20 percent,
while India showed growth of 16 percent.
Domestic traffic climbed 8 percent to 1.84
AsianAviation | APRIL 2011 11
Avalon CEO Justin Giddings says international
flights are probably two years away.
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