Hong Kong airport continues growth success


HONG KONG International Airport (HKIA) is one of the world’s busiest cargo airports having recently surpassed Memphis Airport for the third consecutive year. Aggressive expansion plans, including the opening of the Cathay Pacific Cargo terminal, have contributed to the success. Cargo volume grew by two per cent to 2.3 million tonnes.

In 2013, HKIA witnessed a year-on-year increase of 5.2 per cent to 34.3 million passengers while flight movements have increased by 5.5 per cent compared to the same period last year. These figures have broken expected targets with HKIA management expecting continued growth in the future.

With plans under way for a new runway system and new parking stands, 2014 looks exciting. In March 2012, the Government’s in-principle approval of adopting a three-runway system lead to the Airport Authority (AA) embarking on a three-phase process of project planning, approval and implementation. Currently in the planning stage, HKIA is doing the statutory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study and also working on the associated design of the runway system. It EIA report is aimed at winning the approvals required to launch into the eight-year implementation phase of land formation, detailed designs and construction of related facilities.

Other expansion plans are more immediate in nature, for instance the building of the new parking stands in the Midfield area of HKIA to meet increasing demand. Twenty parking stands are currently under construction and are expected to be ready to handle an additional 10 million passengers by the end of 2015. This year, six new parking stands opened in June and another 15 will launch in a few months. The end result will be 28 additional parking stands and a cross-runway vehicular tunnel linking with the cargo facilities area. 

With such development, the HKIA, in conjunction with AA and its business partners, is more aware than ever before of its 2010 pledge to reduce airport-wide carbon emissions by 25 per cent per workload unit by 2015 compared to 2008 levels.

According to the preliminary and unaudited figures announced in March 2013, the airport community has achieved a carbon intensity reduction of nearly 14 per cent over the past two years. Since 2010, the airport community has completed more than 370 carbon reduction initiatives, improving cooling systems and introducing more energy-efficient vehicles. Such efforts have paid off when, in 2013, HKIA received the Airport Carbon Accreditation “Optimisation” certificate from Airports Council International (ACI) in recognition of its carbon emissions management and reduction efforts. HKIA is the first airport in Asia Pacific to achieve this standard.

As part of this initiative, AAHK has embarked on conducting Hong Kong’s largest LED replacement project by replacing the airport’s traditional lighting in the passenger terminal buildings with 100,000 light emitting diodes (LED) by 2014, which will save 15 million kWh of electricity per year.

By Karen Osman