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Speech by SEDL at opening ceremony for second hangar of HAECO (English only)

    Following is the speech by the Secretary for Economic Development and Labour, Mr Stephen Ip, at the opening ceremony for the second hangar of Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (HAECO) today (December 14) (English only):

Chris, PK, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     I am glad to be here to join you for this happy occasion íV the opening ceremony for HAECO's second hangar to provide additional capacity for base maintenance services to meet the needs of the airlines.

     Being the only operator now capable of providing the full range of "Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul" services in Hong Kong, HAECO is an integral and important part of our airport and has made a valuable contribution to Hong Kong's development as an international aviation hub. From a modest start in Kai Tak in the 1950s, HAECO has now expanded to become one of the world's top five independent aircraft maintenance companies, in tandem with the development of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) as the world's best airport.    

     The opening of this second hangar is another landmark in HAECO's long record of achievements over the past few decades. As HKIA's aircraft movements continue to break records, this new hangar will provide the much needed additional maintenance capacity to meet the growing needs of the airlines. It will also create nearly 900 directly or indirectly related jobs.

     I am also delighted to note that HAECO has recently signed agreements with the Airport Authority to extend its franchise to 2036 and to invest another $800 million to build a third hangar. This will create more skilled jobs for Hong Kong, and demonstrates HAECO's confidence in and commitment to Hong Kong.

     Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to HAECO on the opening of its second hangar at the HKIA. No doubt this will bring benefits to HAECO, HKIA and Hong Kong as a whole.

     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, December 14, 2006
Issued at HKT 16:58