Email this article
Speech by CE at Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal Grand Opening Ceremony (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, at the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal Grand Opening Ceremony at Hong Kong International Airport this afternoon (February 17):

John (Slosar), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     It is my great pleasure to join you to celebrate the official opening of the new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal.

     I have just finished touring some of the new facilities of the Cargo Terminal and they are very impressive indeed.

     Hong Kong is one of the world's major aviation hubs. Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has been consistently ranked among the best and busiest airports since moving to Chek Lap Kok in 1998. Last year, the airport handled over 4 million tonnes of cargo and close to 60 million passengers, which is almost nine times the total population of Hong Kong.

     During the past 15 years, the number of annual aircraft movements has more than doubled to around 372,000, or an average of more than 1,000 aircraft movements each day of the year.

     All along, HKIA, together with many of our partners, has built up a strong reputation for safety and efficiency amid strong regional competition for business.

     Maintaining Hong Kong's position as an international aviation hub hinges on two key elements: connectivity and infrastructure. On connectivity, frequencies and networks are the essence. With a prime location in the Asia-Pacific region, passengers and cargo can reach all major Asian cities by air within four hours, and half of the world's population within five hours. More than 100 airlines operate at the airport, connecting us to some 180 destinations worldwide. Hong Kong has signed Air Services Agreements (ASAs) with 62 aviation partners. We will continue to expand ASAs with our aviation partners.

     Cathay Pacific's new Cargo Terminal not only represents an investment in the airline's future, it also represents an investment in Hong Kong's bright future as an aviation hub in Asia. This state-of-the-art facility will increase HKIA's air cargo handling capacity by 50 per cent to 7.4 million tonnes per year.

     This $5.9 billion project also underlines the importance of the private sector's contribution to the development of our airport.

     The Government works closely with the Airport Authority (AA) to enhance the facilities and handling capacity of the HKIA to meet future demand. Since the airport's existing two-runway system will become saturated within the next few years, there is a pressing need to expand its capacity. The Airport Authority, with full support of the Government, is moving ahead with planning work for the construction of a third runway. This includes the statutory environmental impact assessment (EIA), scheme designs and the financial arrangements, with commissioning targeted for 2023. Under a three-runway system, HKIA will be able to accommodate over 600,000 annual flight movements, welcoming about 97 million passengers and handling some 9 million tonnes of cargo.

     With the rapid development of the Pearl River Delta (PRD) and the construction of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the Government is fully aware of the potential on two fronts. One is the extension of the HKIA catchment area to cover the PRD cities, and the other the benefits of further collaboration with the PRD airports. We are working closely with our Guangdong counterparts to fully realise this potential.

     Ladies and gentlemen, Hong Kong has a very proud aviation history and a bright future as an aviation hub in Asia. I congratulate Cathay Pacific on the Grand Opening of its new Cargo Terminal. With your continued support and the support of all stakeholders as we press ahead with airport development, the sky really is the limit for our aviation industry.

     Thank you very much.

Ends/Monday, February 17, 2014
Issued at HKT 16:53


Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Print this page