Hong Kong airport runway expansion plan goes to Mott MacDonald

02 September 2016 Consultancy.uk 4 min. read
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Hong Kong International Airport is quickly reaching its operational capacity, as the regional economy booms. To allow for continued growth, the Airport Authority Hong Kong developed plans for a third runway – the Hong Kong International Airport’s (HKIA) three-runway system (3RS). Mott MacDonald, working with Atkins, is to provide aviation consultancy across airport masterplanning and engineering for the project – drawing on expertise from its Hong Kong, UK, US and Australian operations for the massive project.

Passenger traffic at Hong Kong International Airport has jumped 121% from 28.6 million in 1998 to 63.3 million in 2014, while cargo traffic jumped 169% from 1.63 million tonnes to 4.38 million tonnes. The airport, in 2012, generated HK$94 billion in economic activity, representing 4.6% of local GDP, while directly employing 63,000 and indirectly inducing the employment of an additional 85,000.

As it stands, passenger and freight levels are soon to reach the maximum capacity of the airfield’s infrastructure – the two runways are currently at around 90% capacity, with projections seeing the airport reach maximum capacity by 2018. In a bid to further develop the capacity of the airport, the Airport Authority Hong Kong’s (AAHK) has lain plans for the development of a third runway – the Hong Kong International Airport’s (HKIA) three-runway system (3RS). The benefits, according to the HKIA, for Hong Kong are manifold, improving its economic contribution to HK$184 billion by 2030 and almost doubling direct and indirect employment.

Hong Kong airport runway expansion plan goes to Mott MacDonald

Mott MacDonald, working with Atkins as partner, has been appointed by AAHK as aviation consultancy contributor to the 3RS project; the firm will provide services across airport masterplanning and engineering. The project will call on a range of capacities from the professional services firm, which has been tasked with the “design of the apron pavement, aircraft parking stands and fully serviced contact gates, the delivery of airport systems engineering such as ground lighting and apron systems, as well as planning and engineering for a fire training facility.” In addition, the firm is tasked with airport planning, which includes determining road traffic impact, as well as cargo, airflows and security studies, among others.

To deliver on the large, multifaceted project, Mott MacDonald will draw on multiple teams within its international operation, among which its core team based in Hong Kong as well as its UK team for support related to airport planning. Added to that, its US operation will be tapped for expertise in the aircraft parking, stand pavements and the design of specialist systems, and the firm’s Australian operation is set to provide airport advisory services.

David Mepham, Aviation Director at Mott MacDonald, says that the firm is “proud” to continue our longstanding relationship with AAHK and are excited to be maintaining our involvement at HKIA. “It follows our recent success as lead consultant for the design of third runway infrastructure and concourse. This latest appointment further reinforces our aviation strength in Hong Kong, which is the technical centre of excellence for airfield work in the Asia-Pacific and Australasia regions,” he adds.

Aviation engagements
Mott MacDonald has recently been expanding its global Aviation Practice with new appointments as well as strengthening its position in the Asian Pacific region. The firm’s aviation consultancy services is on the rise, with the most recent deal closed in July of this year for improvements on Macau Airport – an autonomous territory in China. Earlier this year, the expansion of Hong Kong terminal 1 was delivered after roughly five years of development by, among others, Mott MacDonald.