Cathay Pacific supports proposal for third runway at Hong Kong Airport
Cathay Pacific Airways has reiterated its unequivocal support for the building of a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).
In a process which has shades of the current situation in the UK with Heathrow Airport, the airline has stated it believes a third runway is the only viable way to ensure the long-term competitiveness of Hong Kong as a premier aviation hub to support tourism, international trade, logistics, finance and professional services.
Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said: “There is an urgent need to move ahead with the third runway project as the airport is fast approaching its maximum runway capacity. It is certain that the airport will reach capacity well before a third runway could be built, which is of great concern when we are seeing increasing competition from other rapidly expanding hubs in the region.”
Regarding the funding of the third runway project, Cathay Pacific supports the views presented by Tony Tyler, Director General and CEO of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) at a lunchtime address in Hong Kong.
Tyler said that Hong Kong airport is a huge success and that IATA has long been an advocate of the need for a third runway. On the funding of this major project, he said there is ample scope for the airport to borrow the capital needed through bonds or commercial loans.
“Could a third runway be developed without increasing charges, without placing a burden on taxpayers, without making it more expensive for travellers, without adding an extra burden to shippers and while increasing the hub’s competitiveness? It’s an ambitious undertaking but I believe that the answer is yes.” he added.
Cathay Pacific believes the construction of the third runway can be self-funded through existing income streams, especially as the number of passengers moving through the airport continues to grow.
Mr Chu said: “Hong Kong International Airport is extremely successful. It is the world’s busiest airport for international freight and the third busiest in terms of international passenger traffic. The Airport Authority enjoys the highest net profit of any airport in the world and benefits from strong cash flows, a healthy balance sheet, and growing income from retail and aeronautical streams.
“The Airport Authority is fully capable of financing the construction of the third runway through its own means without the need to impose additional financial burden on users. Charges must remain competitive to ensure continued growth for aviation, tourism and related industries.”
Cathay Pacific also believes that, as a public body, the Airport Authority should reinvest its income in the development of the third runway, so that the airport can maintain its premier hub status and continue to make an important economic contribution to Hong Kong.
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Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany