HONG KONG. Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) will handle 100 million passengers and 10 million tonnes of cargo within the next 20 years, outgoing Chairman of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) Dr Victor Fung has confidently predicted.

We should create an airport system in the entire Pearl River Delta that could serve Hong Kong and the whole region.

Dr Victor Fung

HKIA set new records for traffic in 2007, handling 47.8 million passengers, up +7.5%, and 3.7 million tonnes of cargo, up +4.5% on a year earlier. The airport was designed with capacity for 87 million passengers and nine million tonnes of cargo.

Dr Fung, who steps down this week as AAHK Chairman, said the airport must extend its cooperation with other airports in the Pearl River Delta Region such as Macau, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Zhuhai in order to prosper. AAHK jointly manages Zhuhai Airport and holds a 35% stake in Hangzhou Airport.

“We should create an airport system in the entire Pearl River Delta that could serve Hong Kong and the whole region,” he said. “Hong Kong is at the heart of the Pearl River Delta and, more and more, our destiny is tied up with developing this whole economic zone.”

In the short term, Dr Fung said that direct flights between Taiwan and the Chinese Mainland could divert around 6% of passenger traffic from HKIA.

Last week AAHK appointed Dr Marvin Cheung as its new Chairman to succeed Dr Fung.

Airport Authority Chief Executive Officer Stanley Hui said: “Under Dr Fung’s leadership, Hong Kong International Airport has been consistently recognised as the world’s best airport. We’ve made significant inroads on the Mainland and continued to enhance our facilities and services. We are most grateful for Dr Fung’s vision, leadership and guidance. We look forward to working with Dr Cheung and building on this solid foundation.”

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