The Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA) welcomes the Executive Council’s approval for the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to operate a three-runway system (3RS). This will be helpful in consolidating Hong Kong’s status as an international and regional aviation hub. Over the past few years, the number of passengers and the volume of air cargo have experienced robust growth and, as a result, the existing two-runway system will soon reach full capacity according to forecasts by the Airport Authority (AA). There is therefore the urgent need to upgrade the HKIA’s carrying capacity.
The BPA believes that the continuous expansion and upgrading of infrastructure have a useful role to play in spurring Hong Kong’s economic development. In addition, the HKIA plays an important role in connecting Hong Kong with the world. This will be further supplemented by projects currently under development on Lantau Island such as the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge and the Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok Link, when these are completed and press into service.
Mr Jeffrey Lam Kin-fung, BPA Vice Chairman, urges the Government to proceed with the implementation of the 3RS project as soon as possible. He believes that the synergy arising from the airport, Lantau Island and surrounding areas can help create employment opportunities, strengthen the development of a bridgehead economy on Lantau Island and promote new economic opportunities in Hong Kong.
Judging from rising construction costs over the last two or three years, he also calls for a modest expansion of the Supplementary Labour Scheme to avoid a worsening of manpower shortages in the construction industry, and the inflationary effects this will have on the cost for completing the 3RS.
The BPA notes there continues to lingering concerns with the environment as a result of 3RS and urges the Government and the AA to continue to engage the public so that the project can gain wider support from the community by striking an appropriate balance between nature conservation and economic development.