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June 30th, 2011:


Download PDF : Chinese version of second NCD Lancet paper

KMB takes route to $108m buys

Hong Kong Standard – 30 June 2011

Kowloon Motor Bus will spend HK$108 million on 60 single-deck vehicles to be used on less popular routes.

Kowloon Motor Bus will spend HK$108 million on 60 single-deck vehicles to be used on less popular routes.

The company will also replace 36 single-deckers more than 15 years old.

KMB head of depots Ho Chi-man said yesterday the number of less popular routes has increased, especially in the New Territories, owing to population movements.

KMB has also proposed replacing double-deckers with single-deck buses on 20 routes where demand has fallen.

If approved, the new services will begin early next year.

Ho said the  new single-deck buses are environmentally friendly, emitting 94 percent less particulates and 79 percent less nitrogen oxide than existing vehicles, several of which have been in use since 1994.

“In addition, most of the older buses have steps at the entrance, which makes it difficult for the elderly and those in wheelchairs,” he said.

The new buses have lower floors and the ramp at the entrance may be lowered by 25 centimeters to allow wheelchairs.


Airport has real growth potential

I refer to Paul Zimmerman’s article (“Airport plan can’t take off without reliable growth forecast and cost-benefit analysis”, June 18).

The air traffic forecast made for Hong Kong International Airport’s Master Plan 2030 by Iata Consulting is based on gross domestic product, the most reliable and proven indicator known to the industry. Over the past 40 years, global air traffic has demonstrated a strong correlation to global economic growth as measured by GDP. Hong Kong has an even stronger correlation because of its externally oriented economy.

Air traffic grows because of economic, not population, growth. As economies grow, trade and business activities increase, boosting the need for air travel. Airbus projects emerging travel markets will comprise 68 per cent of global air travel by 2029, up from 55 per cent in 2010.

It is critical to note the important contribution of transfer (or connecting) and transshipment traffic alongside origin-destination traffic. Iata Consulting’s air traffic forecast for Hong Kong airport employed a robust, GDP-based linear regression model that was developed after extensive testing of variables using simple, multiple linear and log regression models, and a review of market trends. In 2010, around one third of the airport’s passenger traffic was connecting, while approximately 20 per cent of cargo traffic was transshipment. This traffic mix is projected to be similar in 2030.

Connecting traffic — illustrative of air hub status – brings as much value to Hong Kong as origin-destination traffic because it helps preserve and enhance the airport’s extensive network, connectivity and frequency. Each flight typically carries both origin-destination and transfer/ connecting traffic. In addition, transfer traffic helps airlines operate new routes and build higher frequencies, which in turn helps the hub airport stay competitive with a bigger network and more flights. Travellers then benefit from more choice, destinations and frequency, and even lower fares because of it.

Transshipment also contributes greatly to Hong Kong’s economy, one of the most trade-dependent in the world. Hong Kong airport is the dominant international cargo gateway for South China, and Mr Zimmerman is correct that we handle around 90 per cent of the greater Pearl River Delta’s international cargo throughput. This supports Hong Kong’s leading regional role in trade and logistics, an industry that contributed 26 per cent of Hong Kong’s GDP and employed more than 800,000 people in 2008. It would be hard to imagine the impact on Hong Kong people’s livelihoods if we turned away future cargo and trade activities currently supported by the airport.

A comparison of Hong Kong’s regional market and those of other major cities further demonstrates Hong Kong airport’s tremendous potential. London’s five airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton and London City) served nearly 140 million passengers in 2008, while New York’s JFK, LaGuardia and Newark served more than 100 million. Both cities have populations of about eight million. Hong Kong, a city of seven million, located on the doorstep of China, served more than 50 million passengers via its airport alone in 2010, making the enormous growth potential of Hong Kong airport even clearer.

Julia Yan, general manager, strategic planning and development, Hong Kong Airport Authority

HK$4b record profit for Airport Authority

South China Morning Post – 30 June 2011

Bumpy ride ahead for Chek Lap kok operator despite strong rebound in passenger and cargo throughput

Hong Kong airport made a record profit of more than HK$4 billion last year following a strong rebound in passenger and cargo throughput, but expansion plans could make for a bumpy ride in the years ahead.

Even without building a third runway – which is still in the planning phase – depreciation and amortisation of the HK$9.3 billion midfield expansion programme due to be completed by 2015 could drag the Airport Authority into the red.

“If you only look at the [financial] statement, there will be fluctuations, or even losses,” said William Lo Chi-chung, the authority’s executive director for finance. “However, we have a very strong cash flow. If we maintain that, we shouldn’t have problems handling any future projects.”

It will have to deal with a funding shortfall of HK$102 billion if the third runway goes ahead, but chief executive Stanley Hui Hon-chung said it had no plans yet to raise landing and parking charges for airlines.

Even though the authority projects an annual increase of 3 per cent in airport charges until 2030 in its estimated future cash flow, the airport has not raised the landing and parking fees for airlines in 13 years. Fees, in fact, were cut by 15 per cent during the economic downturn of 2000, with another temporary reduction in 2009 following the credit crisis, which has now been reinstated.

Record passenger and cargo throughput last year plus strong growth in rents, retail licences and advertising revenues pushed the airport’s revenue up by 17.4 per cent to HK$10.58 billion. Helped by good control over operating expenses, net profit jumped 41.9 per cent to HK$4.04 billion.

The operating margin also rose to 66.3 per cent in the 12 months to March from 62.3 per cent a year ago – the highest among utilities investments, while return on equity reached double digits for the first time, at 11.1 per cent.

Hui said if passenger throughput continued to grow at an annual clip of 3.2 per cent, Hong Kong might overtake Heathrow as the airport handling the most international passengers by 2015.

Despite the record profit, the government will only receive HK$3.1 billion in ordinary dividends, less than the HK$4.5 billion from an ordinary and a special dividend in 2009. There is no special dividend this year.

While Japan’s natural disasters and political unrest in the Middle East pushed cargo throughput down by 1.2 per cent in the first five months of this year, passenger and aircraft movements saw year-on-year growth of 5.4 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. Despite a high base, Hui said, Hong Kong airport should end the year with moderate growth.

Simple monitoring of ultrafine particles

Download PDF : Aerasense presentation Utrafine monitoring