International Aviation Hub
105. Hong Kong's positioning as an international aviation hub is affirmed and supported by the Central People's Government in the 14th Five-Year Plan and the Outline Development Plan for the GBA. The Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), which served about 70 million passengers in 2018-19, was the third busiest airport in terms of international passenger throughput around the globe. It was also the world's busiest cargo airport for many years.
106. To support the recovery of air traffic, the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) is rolling out a series of measures, which include reducing or waiving airport charges, providing incentives to resume suspended flight services or launch new routes, organising large-scale promotion activities, etc. Meanwhile, the Government and the AA are examining the medium-to-long-term manpower shortage situation in the aviation industry, with a view to identifying solutions to the problem.
107. To enhance Hong Kong's status as an international aviation hub, the Government and the AA are pressing ahead with the "Airport City" development strategy, under which the HKIA will be developed into a node of various economic activities with aviation as its core business. With the addition of new developments and new functions, the HKIA will drive the economic growth of Hong Kong as well as its neighbouring regions.
108. A number of infrastructure projects of the HKIA will be successively completed and commissioned, including the SkyPier Terminal which will commence operation in the middle of this year and the entire Three‑Runway System which is expected to be completed by the end of 2024. The HKIA will have its capacity substantially increased and its position as a regional multi‑modal transportation hub further enhanced. The above developments will significantly boost passenger and cargo traffic of the HKIA, creating tremendous opportunities for activities such as aircraft repair and maintenance, aircraft parts manufacturing and relevant R&D. The AA is planning to construct a new aviation business park on the Airport Island, and is exploring with Zhuhai authorities the feasibility of building an aviation industrial park in Zhuhai, so as to promote the development of the aviation industry in the two places through synergised cross-boundary co‑operation.
109. Under the development strategy of the Airport City, the HKIA is also actively taking forward the integrated commercial development project of SKYCITY. Moreover, logistics infrastructure will be strengthened to further expand the business of high-value goods and e-commerce. With its advantages in terms of geography, infrastructure and transportation, the site will be developed into a vibrant hub of commerce, conventions and exhibitions, tourism, lifestyle and logistics.
Enhance the Aircraft Leasing Preferential Tax Regime
110. The Government will enhance the aircraft leasing preferential tax regime, striving to establish Hong Kong as an aircraft leasing and services hub. The Government has conducted a trade consultation on the proposed enhancement measures, which include allowing tax deduction for the acquisition cost of aircraft and expanding the scope of leases and aircraft leasing activities. This has been welcomed by the trade. These enhancement measures will further attract more aircraft leasing companies to establish a presence in Hong Kong. We will introduce a bill into the LegCo in the fourth quarter of this year.
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