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Speech by STL at ground-breaking ceremony of Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre in-situ expansion (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Transport and Logistics, Mr Lam Sai-hung, at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre in-situ expansion today (October 18):

Mr Raymond Kwok (Chairman and Managing Director of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited), Sir Michael Kadoorie (Director of the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre), Mr Jack So (Chairman of the Airport Authority Hong Kong), distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
     I am most delighted to join you today at the ground-breaking ceremony of the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre (HKBAC) in-situ expansion.
     Hong Kong is blessed to be located in the heart of Asia. From Hong Kong International Airport, we can reach most major Asian cities within four hours of flight, and cover half of the world's population within five hours. This has laid the foundation for the development of a wide aviation network that makes Hong Kong the international aviation hub it is today. With a robust economy both in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area, as well as Hong Kong's status as a premier international financial and trading centre, Hong Kong is a particularly fertile ground for business aviation development, and our continued success in business aviation is exemplified by nothing better than the HKBAC.
     The HKBAC is an emblem of Hong Kong's growth as a business aviation hub. Since its establishment in 1998, aircraft movement here has soared from a few hundred to nearly 7,000 per annum in recent years, with about 100 aircraft based in Hong Kong at its peak. The formula of the HKBAC's success has always been its professionalism and excellent services. Over the years, the HKBAC has evolved into one of the world's most renowned Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), and it has taken pride of place in Hong Kong by being voted the Best Asian FBO in the Professional Pilot Magazine PRASE Survey for an unprecedented 15th consecutive year (2008-2022). These commendable achievements were made possible by the concerted and relentless efforts of the HKBAC community, including many of you who are here with us today, in the ongoing search for breakthroughs and excellence.
     The past few years have been the most trying times in aviation history. Under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, planes were grounded, and international travel nearly came to a halt. However, with the subsidence of the pandemic, the Government has taken numerous steps to reopen our skies, and air traffic at Hong Kong International Airport is steadily picking up. Past experience points to the resilience of the aviation market, so we believe that a strong rebound is on the horizon for Hong Kong's aviation industry as a whole. That makes the expansion of the HKBAC today a timely investment on the bright future that our aviation sector is to welcome.
     Indeed, with the strong backing of the Central Government, Hong Kong is set to unleash its immense potential in aviation development. Both the National 14th Five-Year Plan and the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area have clearly indicated support for Hong Kong to consolidate and enhance its role as an international aviation hub. On the back of this vote of confidence, we have been working hand in hand with the Airport Authority Hong Kong in mapping out the next chapter of Hong Kong's aviation future, and the transformation of our airport into an "Airport City" is the flagship development.
     From the construction of the Three-Runway System, to the commercial development of SKYCITY, to various projects on the Hong Kong Port Island of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, and to the adoption of new technologies and innovations at the airport, we are committed to enhancing the handling capacity of our airport, our connectivity with our passenger and cargo hinterland in the Greater Bay Area, as well as the functionality of our airport to deliver a unique airport experience for passengers and give fresh impetus to the growth of Hong Kong's economy. Such effort has started to bear fruit, with the third runway commencing operation in July and the first hotel and office towers at SKYCITY opening their doors this year.
     The expansion of the HKBAC today, which is in every way an important and integral part of the exciting prospects for our airport, counts as another welcoming addition to the flourishing scene of Hong Kong's aviation development. With the handling capacity doubled and the space of the Executive Terminal increased threefold, the HKBAC will by virtue of this expansion project be well positioned to stay on top of the competition, improve the travel experience for passengers and tap into the rapid growth of business aviation demand in the Greater Bay Area and beyond, thereby helping Hong Kong to maintain its status as a premier international aviation hub.
     I congratulate the HKBAC on the commencement of the expansion project, and keenly look forward to its completion. I wish the HKBAC every success in this important undertaking. Thank you.
Ends/Tuesday, October 18, 2022
Issued at HKT 11:58
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