Hong Kong’s airport authority has confirmed that all passengers using the facility will soon be paying a surcharge to fund its expansion. The extra fee will be charged from mid-2016 and will pay for the construction costs of a third runway.
The passenger service surcharges are being levied on both transit and departing passengers. The minimum HK$70 (£6) will be applied to transit passengers. Economy class passengers departing on short-haul flights will pay HK$90 (£7.70) while those on long-haul will have to pay HK$160 (£13.60).
Passengers in business or first class will have to cough up HK$160 for short-haul journeys and HK$180 (£15.30) for long-haul ones. The original proposal by the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) would have seen passengers right across the board pay HK$180.
Following a public outcry, the authority came up with the staggered fees for different classes and journey lengths. The AAHK says the majority of travellers using the airport will pay an average of HK$90.
Fred Lam Tin-fuk is the CEO of Hong Kong Airport. He noted that if the AAHK had been able to charge each passenger HK$180 then the fee would have only been necessary until 2023. He explained that the reduced take from the fee would probably mean it had to stay in place until 2031.
The CEO said AAHK officials had discussed the matter with all parties concerned and the general consensus of opinion was that passengers would pay the charge without too much grumbling so long as it was not too high. Critics of the forthcoming charge say the airport makes a lot of money and should fund any expansion out of profits.