Singapore’s Changi Airport opened its high-tech fourth terminal at the end of October, putting pressure on Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) to deliver its third runway (3RS). Due to be completed in 2024, the prolonged passenger delays, baggage problems, and increasing demand for more flights mean that HKIA’s new runway is almost too little, too late to keep up with the competition. However, the good news is that this is creating more jobs in aviation engineering.
Passenger Growth Continues
Passenger numbers are expected to double by 2036 to 7.8 billion passengers, according to the International Air Transport Association. Over half of that number are expected to come from the Asia-Pacific region, which will increase the strain on airports like HKIA unless they can increase capacity to meet this demand.
Proactive Planning Needed
The CAPA Centre for Aviation announced in July that US$500 billion is expected to be spent in the near future on airport upgrades to cater for this upsurge. Other nearby airports in the region, such as Bangkok, Jakarta, Seoul Incheon, and Taipei are all progressing their own expansions, as are airports on the Chinese mainland. Without further development, HKIA will soon lose ground to these competitors.
Compete, or Co-ordinate?
The proximity of HKIA to the Chinese mainland airports gives HKIA the option to instead increase its infrastructure and transport links to them, rather than continually increasing capacity. This could create a connected hub with cities like Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. While this remains to be seen, what is certain is that aviation engineers, construction staff, project managers and quantity surveyors will all be required for the foreseeable future.
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Recruitment Director, Hong Kong
I am responsible for the recruitment business in Hong Kong, Asia, and the Middle East. I was a civil engineer and project manager for 15 years before becoming a construction industry recruiter in 2004. I am based in the Hong Kong office and excel at placing professionals in engineering, project management, planning and HSEQ/risk.
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