Business Aviation News

Hong Kong to Capitalize on Bizav Rebound with Major HKBAC Facility Expansion

Hong Kong to Capitalize on Bizav Rebound with Major HKBAC Facility Expansion

The Hong Kong Business Aviation Center (HKBAC) held a ceremony on October 18 to mark the start of its facility expansion, which will see the fixed-base operator increase aircraft capacity and optimize services for customers with the aim of capitalizing on a strong rebound in business travel.

The US$50 million project will expand its existing facility fivefold and double the size of its existing parking lot.

The expansion, which is slated for completion in 2025, features a 26-meter all-weather canopy, an upgrade to speed up customs check-in procedures, and a VIP lounge. The project also hopes to leverage the airport’s new third runway, which became operational in July 2022.

The ceremony comes after HKBAC, an FBO based in Hong Kong International Airport, signed an agreement with the Airport Authority Hong Kong in April 2021 to refurbish and expand the existing Executive Terminal Building and build a new support terminal.

“We believe that a strong rebound is on the horizon for Hong Kong’s aviation industry as a whole. That makes the expansion of the HKBAC today a timely investment on the bright future that our aviation sector is to welcome,” said Lam Sai-hung, Secretary for Transport and Logistics.

Madonna Fung, General Manager, HKBAC, told reporters that the expansion would consolidate Hong Kong’s status as an international aviation hub and its “dual gateway” role in connecting the mainland and the rest of the world.

With nearly 7,000 flights per year and about 100 aircraft based in Hong Kong at its peak time, the HKBAC has seen a drastic fall in aircraft movement since 2020 as a result of COVID-19-related travel restrictions and border closures. But the number is expected to pick up in light of the government scrapping mandatory hotel quarantine requirements last month.

The city expects an influx of visitors and business travelers to attend major events including Hong Kong Fintech Week, the Hong Kong Sevens, and the Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit, all of which are scheduled to take place before the end of the year.

“I’m very grateful for their confidence, for the confidence in Hong Kong, for the vision to look beyond the current difficulties,” said Jack So Chak Kwong, Chairman, Airport Authority Hong Kong.  “Hong Kong will again be the super-connector of China and the rest of the world.”

The HKBAC also hopes to meet changing requirements in the industry, which has recently seen a larger percentage of group charters and more clients who aren’t business owners, banking executives and high-net-worth individuals, according to Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, Chairman and Managing Director, Sun Hung Kai Properties – one of the main shareholders of HKBAC.

Looking into the future, So said he wishes for enhanced integration between Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area with a “disappearing border.” Mainland China still requires all inbound travelers to undergo a seven-day quarantine.

“Despite the impact of the pandemic, I strongly believe, as my late father said likening it to a bouncing ball – the further it dropped, the higher it bounced. I hope and very much feel that is the case today,” said Michael Kadoorie, Director, HKBAC.