Runway key to growth
It is not an infallible rule, but once an international airport hits a certain critical mass in terms of flight movements, cargo volumes and passenger traffic, two things generally happen.
Allowing for good planning and the avoidance of any large-scale economic setbacks, expansion can continue almost unabated. And with everything geared for growth, the whole host of companies providing subsidiary services, from baggage handling and catering to ground transport and security, can start to plan for a parallel - and ongoing - boost to business.
For that reason, HAECO (Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company) is fully behind the possible addition of a third runway, seeing it as essential to retaining the city's competitive edge and its status as a premier aviation hub in the region.
"In one way or another, air services support Hong Kong's four pillar industries - finance, trade and logistics, professional services, and tourism," says Vivian Sun, HAECO's general manager for personnel. "Service efficiency and global flight connectivity are something Hong Kong has built over the decades and should never concede to competing hubs."
Specialising in all aspects of aircraft maintenance and repair, the company keep planes flying and, therefore, keeps the wheels of business turning. By employing, training and providing careers for more than 5,000 staff, it also makes a major contribution to the local economy.
"In our view, ensuring a sustainable supply of skilled and semi-skilled manpower for aircraft engineering and maintenance is critical to the economic development of Hong Kong Inc, not just the HKIA hub," Sun says.
"We are competing with other operators worldwide, and so we will continue to invest in the expansion of facilities and services, and in the training and technical abilities of our thousands of staff."