Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) published its Annual Report 2020/21 today for the fiscal year ended March 31 2021.
During the year, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) continued to suffer from the prolonged impact of COVID-19. Passenger volume and flight movement dropped 98.6% and 66.2% to 800,000 and 127, 760 respectively due to travel restrictions and quarantine measures implemented worldwide.
Cargo throughput remained resilient at 4.6 million tonnes, a slight year-on-year decline of 2%. During the fiscal year, HKIA recorded a 24% surge in freighter movement, mitigating the reduced passenger flight belly space and helping HKIA to retain its position as the world’s busiest international cargo airport.
During the pandemic, handling temperature-sensitive vaccines became a major challenge. The AA formed a task force with HKIA’s cargo community, government departments, pharmaceutical companies and other logistics operators to ensure an efficient handling of vaccines at airport.
Priority towing was arranged for the aircraft carrying the vaccines, while unloading, customs clearance and truck loading were expedited to ensure the shipments were released as quickly as possible. These measures enable HKIA to handle vaccine shipments to Hong Kong and transshipments to other destination efficiently.
Despite the continuing impact of the pandemic, the transformation of HKIA from a city airport into an Airport City continued to make steady progress. At the heart of the Airport City is the Three-runway System (3RS). Land reclamation for the 3RS was substantially complete during the year, with follow-on works including pavement of the third runway progressing as planned.
The AA is confident that the third runway will be operational in 2022 and completing the 3RS project by 2024, on time and within budget.