LONDON – Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) have begun commissioning of a new third runway facility. Designated as the new North Runway, a series of operational familiarisation flight took place late this week, on 8 July.
At 0824hrs a Government Flying Service plane landed as the first flight taking part in the familiarisation on the Third Runway. This was shortly followed by the first commercial flight, a Cathay Pacific Cargo flight from Shanghai Pudong, touching down at 0827hrs.
Cathay Pacific Cargo
Hong Kong’s national flag carrier, Cathay Pacific, operated a Boeing 747-400F cargo freighter into the newly commissioned Third Runway, making it the first commercial operator to use the new facility.
The Cathay flight was conducted as part of the operation familiarisation on the Third Runway. This allows stakeholders from the aviation community to become familiar with the related operating procedures and collaborative arrangements.
Cathay Pacific CEO statement
Chief Executive Officer Augustus Tang said:
“We are delighted to be the first airline to operate a commercial flight using the new Third Runway, and for that flight to be operated by the ‘Queen of the Skies’, one of our 747 freighters.”
“Our freighter fleet has played a pivotal role in keeping essential supplies, notably vaccines and testing kits, moving between Hong Kong and the rest of the world throughout the pandemic. “
“I would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Airport Authority Hong Kong, Civil Aviation Department and all other stakeholders involved in the operation familiarisation for their assistance and support.”
“The commencement of the Third Runway is a milestone achievement for the Hong Kong international aviation hub that will greatly enhance its capacity and capability for handling passenger and cargo flights.”
“As an aviation hub, Hong Kong has a critical role to play in the country’s development, as outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan.”
“The growth potential afforded by the commencement of the Three-Runway System at HKIA, together with the opportunities presented by the Greater Bay Area, will ensure that Cathay Pacific and our home hub will remain competitive for many years to come,” he concluded.
HKIA operational arrangements
Final preparation for operation familiarisation on the Third Runway and associated taxiways began on the evening of 7 July. This included a joint inspection by Airport Authority Hong Kong and Civil Aviation Department.
As operation familiarisation commenced on the new runway, the Centre Runway was temporarily closed for reconfiguration as part of the Three-runway System (3RS) development. While the Centre Runway is temporarily closed, HKIA will continue to operate as a two-runway system with the new North Runway and the South Runway.
In addition to the Third Runway, the 3RS project comprises the expansion of Terminal 2, development of a new T2 Concourse, Automatic People Mover and Baggage Handling System, and is targeted to complete in 2024 as scheduled.