Hong Kong Airport Upgrades Ferry Links to Chinese Cities

Airport Authority Hong Kong said it will spend HK$1 billion (US$129 million) on a new ferry terminal linking the city's international airport with cities in nearby Guangdong province to meet demand, the Wall Street Journal reports. The authority, which operates the Hong Kong International Airport, said it expects passenger volume at the ferry terminal to total three million in 2011, up from a forecast 1.5 million this year. The four-berth terminal is scheduled for completion in 2008, replacing the current, temporary facility. The pier will be linked to the airport's main terminal by a train. Five ports in the Pearl River Delta have ferry services to the Hong Kong airport. Ferry operators said they are considering adding three more points in coming months. The latest expansion is part of the airport authority's plans to boost capacity at the airport as passenger traffic rises to near its current annual capacity of 45 million. The authority expects 60 million passengers to pass through the airport annually by 2020, up 47% from 40.7 million last year. The rise will likely be fueled by growth in the Pearl River Delta. In January, the authority said it would spend HK$4.5 billion during the next four years to build a satellite concourse, increase parking bays for cargo aircraft and improve facilities in the main terminal building.