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Hactl praises decision to build third runway

20 March 2012  •  Source: Pilot Marketing

Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) – the major air cargo handler at the world’s largest air cargo hub – has strongly welcomed the Hong Kong Government’s in-principle approval to adopt the three-runway option for the future development of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

Handling some 70 percent of general air cargo movements in Hong Kong, Hactl has grown in tandem with HKIA – the world’s busiest airport. It invested over USD1 billion in the construction of its SuperTerminal 1 facility at the new airport in 1998; thirteen years later, it is still the largest and most advanced in the world. Hactl’s annual cargo throughput (almost three million tonnes) already exceeds SuperTerminal 1’s original design capacity.

Hactl has been one of many businesses at the airport to support the campaign to construct the third runway. Says its Managing Director, Mark Whitehead: “The global airfreight market, and the market in this region in particular, is expected to grow in leaps and bounds in the next two decades. HKIA needs to grow to meet the increases in volumes, otherwise its status as the world’s No. 1 air cargo hub will be under threat.”

Whitehead says the airport community can now look forward to a much more positive future: “Airlines will have the room they need to grow here, bringing jobs and prosperity. The density of aircraft movements can be maintained at safe levels, and the avoidance of air traffic congestion will reduce the impact on the environment.”

Reacting to environmental concerns about the airport’s expansion, he adds: “It must not be forgotten that we are all residents of Hong Kong, and we all take a keen interest in protecting our environment. We recognise that the expansion and future operation of the airport must take place in a responsible fashion. So it is encouraging to see the many safeguards already being proposed, and the increasing use of the latest, fuel-efficient freighter aircraft is just one demonstration of the air cargo industry’s commitment to protecting the environment. Hactl will certainly continue to play its own part in mitigating the industry’s impact.”