Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) officially opened its new, third runway on July 8, 2022, 10 months after pavement work was completed.

At 08:24 local time, a Government Flying Service aircraft landed as part of familiarization flights on the runway. This was shortly followed by the first commercial flight, a Cathay Pacific cargo flight from Shanghai Pudong, which touched down at 08:27 local time.

The runway was opened following months of preparation, which included flight checks in collaboration with the Civil Aviation Department of China, along with rescue and crash exercises. In May 2022, the Civil Aviation Department also issued a renewed aerodrome license to operate on the new runway.

The new runway was officially opened the day after Hong Kong announced that it is suspending its rule temporarily banning individual flights to curb COVID-19. The controversial policy has seen more than 100 flights banned in 2022 alone.

Only 545,000 passengers passed through HKG in the first five months of 2022, compared to 31.4 million in the same period in the year 2019.

HKG officially opened 24 years ago in July 1998. Alongside the new runway, the airport is also currently expanding Terminal 2, and developing a new T2 Concourse, including an automatic people mover and baggage handling system. These projects are expected to finish in 2024.

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Hong Kong is easing its COVID-19 rules and suspending a policy on individual flight bans