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Cathay Pacific breaks ground on New Cargo Terminal

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Friday, 5 September 2008

Cathay Pacific marked the groundbreaking of the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal on Thursday, with a simple ceremony at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

In March this year, the Airport Authority awarded the airlines wholly owned subsidiary, Cathay Pacific Services Ltd (CPSL), a franchise to invest in, design, construct and operate the new air cargo terminal at HKIA under a 20-year agreement. Cathay Pacific will invest a total development cost of approximately HK$4.8 billion into the facility, which will occupy a site of around 10 hectares in the airports cargo area.

The new terminal will be completed by the second half of 2011 with a designed annual air cargo throughput capacity of 2.6 million tonnes. The terminal will be a common-use facility open to all airline customers. The additional air cargo handling capacity and facilities provided by the new terminal will help to further reinforce Hong Kong International Airports position as the worlds premier international airfreight hub.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Cathays Chief Executive Tony Tyler said that Hong Kongs status as the number one airfreight hub is vital to the citys economic future and underlined Cathay Pacifics commitment to further developing the hub. However, he pointed out that the city is facing increasing competition from other fast-growing airports in Asia as well as from within the Pearl River Delta region itself.

Without a concerted effort to improve our capacity and our competitiveness, our hub would face serious challenges. The need for more capacity is clear - and we will get that capacity when the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal begins operation, Mr Tyler said. With more capacity - and more competition - there will be 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 also for the entire air cargo industry as it grows.

Understanding that the aviation industry is facing challenges arising from surging aviation fuel prices and a slowdown in the global economy, Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng stressed, It is important that we maintain the momentum of our infrastructure investment so we are fully prepared when conditions revive to achieve better growth in the longer term. In the coming few years, several other projects will change the face of this part of Lantau Island. These projects will effectively enhance the competitiveness of the airport.

The Government is working closely with the Airport Authority, actively pursuing the midfield expansion project and the third runway proposal. The Government is also poised to kick-start the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge as a Government-funded project, as well as construct boundary control facilities that will provide the landing point for the second road and tunnel system to the airport from Tuen Mun, Ms Cheng said.

The Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal, which will be operated at arms length from Cathay Pacific Cargo by a separate management team in CPSL, will set new standards in operational efficiency, environmental design and service levels. Piling work at the terminal site has already begun and the detailed design of the material handling system (MHS) is in progress.

The lead consultant for the project is Meinhardt, the architect of the terminal is Aedas, and the quantity surveyor for the project is WT Partnership. The MHS contractor is Siemens while the two contractors for the foundation work are Gammon/Tysan and Bachy Soletanche. The contract for the building of the terminal itself has not yet been awarded.

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