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Hong Kong responding to congestion in the Pearl River Delta


Aircraft movements at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) are still on the decline, with the airport handling nearly 22,000 fewer movements in 2009 than in 2008. However, there is concern that, as the economic recovery takes hold, airport congestion at peak times could lead to increasing levels of delays and add flight times into Hong Kong. The worry is that air traffic corridors and airspace available for civil aviation in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region are insufficient to handle growth and that any more delays and diversions could eat into airlines’ prospects for recovery, as growth returns over 2010. As a major regional hub HKIA now serves a significant volume of transfer/transit traffic and a growing number of small aircraft, operating through PRD airspace into Mainland China. [1966 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • Capacity constraints and the third runway study
  • Operating under restrictions
  • Traffic up two thirds in 12 years
  • Five airports in limited airspace
  • Civil Aviation Department already moving to increase capacity
  • Building capacity for the long-term

Graphs and data:

  • HKIA arrivals & departures – 18-Feb-2010
  • HKIA aircraft movements: 1998-2009#
  • HKIA aircraft movements
  • Airports in the Pearl River Delta
  • The “invisible wall” FIR boundary
  • Hong Kong & surrounding FIRs
  • Hong Kong FIR & major routes
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