The Hong Kong Airport Authority has announced that an $18bn third runway will be built to relieve overcrowding at Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok.Â
The cost of the runway is five or six times greater than the typical cost because it will be built on 650 hectares of land dredged from deep water in the South China Sea. As well as the runway itself, facilities will include a taxiways, a concourse and an expansion of the airport’s Terminal 2.Â
After the work is completed, the airport will be able to serve an extra 30 million passengers a year. Land will be reserved for further growth, depending on future demand.
An overview of the third runway concourse (The Hong Kong Airport Authority)
The project aims to help the airport reach its goal of accommodating 102 flights an hour.
More than 63 million passengers used Hong Kong International in 2014, making it the 10th busiest in the world. Vincent Lo Hong-sui, chairman of the Airport Authority, said: "Expanding Hong Kong International Airport into a three-runway system provides obvious benefits.Â Â
"It will consolidate our city’s status as an international and regional aviation hub, spur economic development and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. This is a project for Hong Kong, and we are committed to taking it forward."Â
Fred Lam, CEO of the Airport Authority, said: "Like other infrastructural works of this magnitude, the development will be a long process. But this will not deter us from doing what is necessary to build a better future for our city.Â Â
"The runway will bring more business, more jobs and more convenience to Hong Kong. We will collaborate with the government, the aviation industry, our stakeholders and the city’s residents to make it happen."Â
Work is due to start soon and be completed in 2023.Â
Image: Terminal 1 at Hong Kong International Airport (Wikimedia Commons)