A breakdown of the construction costs for third runway at the airport has been revealed in a document the Airport Authority (AA) has given to the Legislative Council, which now estimates the expansion of the Terminal 2 to cost HK$16.5 billion, five times as much as when the terminal was built in 2007.

Based on a March 2014 estimate, the whole third runway project is estimated to cost HK$141.5 billion, the most expensive infrastructure project in Hong Kong.

A concept drawing of expanded Terminal 2 and the third runway. Photo: Airport Authority.

In the AA breakdown, most of the figures have increased more than 70 percent from estimates given in the fourth quarter of 2010. The highest increase was the cost of the third runway concourse, which saw a rise of 87 percent from the last estimate to HK$26.3 billion.

Terminal 2 cost $2.8 billion when it was first built in 2007, which was only for departures. Its expansion cost has now increased by 74 percent from HK$9.5 billion, the last estimate in 2010.

The function of the expanded terminal will be quite different and serve a number of different roles, including arrival, transfer and departure operations. The AA said in the document that the existing foundation, substructures, airport system works and others would be retained, with demolished materials to be reused or recycled.

Hong Kong International Airport. Photo: WikiMedia

The “Subcommittee to Follow Up Issues Relating to the Three-runway System at the Hong Kong International Airport” of the LegCo will discuss the document next Tuesday.

Lawmaker Tony Tse Wai-chuen told Ming Pao that he agreed that the cost of construction has risen in recent years, but he urged the AA to explain the reasons behind the price increase of Terminal 2.

“How big will the terminal be after the expansion? Did it [the AA] make the cost look bigger, as it is afraid of going over budget?” Tse said.

Some other key parts of the third runway price breakdown included:

  • Land formation and marine works: HK$56.2 billion;
  • Airfield facilities: HK$11.5 billion;
  • Apron works: HK$5 billion;
  • APM system – transport system for passengers: HK$10.9 billion;
  • Baggage handling system: HK$7.8 billion;
  • Airport support facilities and utilities: HK$7.3 billion.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.