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Hong Kong looks at Hongqiao airport

HONG Kong will strengthen its ties with Shanghai, including helping improve the management of the Hongqiao International Airport, said Henry Tang, Hong Kong's chief secretary for administration, yesterday in Shanghai.

"I support cooperation between Shanghai and Hong Kong that could make use of each side's experiences," Tang told Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng yesterday in Shanghai.

"We plan to take a two-prong approach with the Hongqiao Airport."

Tang said one approach would be similar to the consultancy work Hong Kong did with Beijing Capital International Airport during the Olympics last year. The other possibility is to set up a joint venture to manage the Hongqiao Airport. Tang didn't elaborate on more details.

Shanghai has two airports: Hongqiao, which mainly serves domestic routes; and Pudong International Airport, mostly international. Hongqiao now has some international flights, with services to Tokyo and Seoul.

Hongqiao Airport has won state approval for a 15.3 billion yuan (US$2.24 billion) project to run a second runway, another cargo zone and a new terminal covering 364,000 square meters.

The extension work is scheduled to be finished before World Expo 2010 starts on May 1. The upgrade is expected to help double passenger volume to 40 million annually by 2015.


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