The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) has decided to proceed with an open tender for a new cargo terminal facility to maintain and improve the overall competitiveness of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).
"All interested parties, including the existing air cargo terminal operators (CTOs), will be welcomed to participate in the fair, open and transparent tender for the investment, design, construction and operations of the new cargo terminal," said the AAHK in a statement released on Tuesday.
The AAHK said invitation for pre-qualification proposals will be issued later this month.
The decision to proceed with the open tender was made following the completion of consultation with existing CTOs on the forecast for future demand of air cargo services at HKIA and ways to satisfy upcoming demand and develop relevant services.
The decision also reflected the thorough consideration of other relevant factors, including the wider industry's views of air cargo services and competitive market dynamics, according to the statement.
HKIA's competitive edge in global air cargo business is one of Hong Kong's most valuable assets. The timely provision of adequate air cargo capacity will sustain the long-term development of Hong Kong as a leading international air cargo hub, said the airport authority.
"AAHK anticipates that the tender process will complete in 2008 and the earliest commencement date of the new facility would be about 2011," it said.
The 12-month rolling air cargo throughput is around 3.6 million tons, up about 5 percent from the previous 12 months. In 2005, the air cargo industry generated more than HK$1.57 trillion HK dollars (US$202 billion), representing over 34 percent of Hong Kong's total external trade values, according to AAHK.
(Xinhua News Agency December 21, 2006)