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Cathay Pacific Highlights Features of New Cargo Terminal @ HKIA

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On Tuesday, Cathay Pacific staged an event at Hong Kong International Airport to highlight the state-of-the-art features of the new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal. With a development cost of approximately HK$5.5 billion, the facility marks a significant investment in Hong Kong and underlines the airline’s continued commitment to developing the city’s position as a global aviation and airfreight hub.

Speaking at the event, the airline’s Chief Executive, Tony Tyler said, “We are building a terminal that will be one of the biggest, busiest and most efficient in the world, employing state-of-the-art operational and environmental features. We believe that more capacity - and more competition - will result in an increase in cargo flights to Hong Kong, which in turn will bring economic benefits to the city. There will be new employment opportunities not only from the construction and operation of the cargo terminal but for the entire air cargo industry as it grows.”

Hong Kong’s Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng said, “This project is strategically important. It will, in particular, increase the air cargo handling capacity of the airport by some 50% to 7.4 million tonnes per year. We expect more competition for this business upon completion of the project, with lower cost, better service and greater efficiency.”

In March 2008, the Airport Authority awarded Cathay Pacific Services Ltd (CPSL), a wholly owned subsidiary of the airline, the franchise to invest in, design, construct and operate the new air cargo terminal at HKIA under a 20-year agreement. The facility, scheduled to begin operations in early 2013, will occupy a site of around 10 hectares in the airport’s cargo area.

Work originally began on the terminal in the summer of 2008 but was suspended later that year due to the severity of the financial crisis. With the pick-up in the economy, and a corresponding rebound in the airline’s business and the airfreight market generally, Cathay Pacific has been able to resume construction and continue to fulfil its commitment to investing in Hong Kong.

The terminal is being designed for an annual air cargo throughput of 2.6 million tonnes and will help boost the efficiency and competitiveness of the Hong Kong air cargo hub. At the heart of the cargo terminal is a HK$1.4 billion mechanical handling system, or MHS, which will be the most advanced in the world to date.

The new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal will be one of the most advanced in the world with a number of sophisticated operational and environmental features:

- The efficient design of the terminal, coupled with the use of advanced technology, will enable forwarders and shippers to enjoy a reduced cut-off time for pre-packed export deliveries.

- Imported perishable cargo can be delivered to the consignee immediately after being towed to the cargo terminal from the aircraft.

- The ground floor of the terminal will have two lanes with 57 airside interfaces for import and export operations.

- A fully mechanised buffering area will organise and pre-queue export cargo to allow a seamless, just-in-time operation run in cooperation with ramp-handling company HAS.

- The ground floor will feature a dedicated Quick Transshipment - or QT – area, where transshipment cargo will be re-sorted according to its onward destination without the need to travel to higher floors of the terminal. This will enable a significant reduction in the minimum connection time.

- Other cargo awaiting transit can be staged indoors, protecting consignments from adverse weather conditions.

- The cargo terminal has two warehouse floors to handle import cargo or other non-palletized export shipment. Workstations will be organised in a way that allows workers can to build up or breakdown units in the most efficient manner.

- The terminal has been designed with environmental considerations in mind. The facility will use an advanced waste management system, offices will utilize natural lighting to save energy, and cladding will help to regulate the temperature inside the building.

The contract for the construction of the main terminal building has been awarded to a Gammon-Hip Hing Joint Venture while the MHS will be provided by Siemens.

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