Date
24 September 2017
Fred Lam says his extensive travels for the Trade Development Council have made him aware of what it takes to run an airport operation. Photo: HKEJ
Fred Lam says his extensive travels for the Trade Development Council have made him aware of what it takes to run an airport operation. Photo: HKEJ

Incoming Hong Kong airport chief defends experience

Hong Kong’s incoming airport chief is pushing back against claims he has zero experience in the aviation industry.

Fred Lam, chief executive of the Trade Development Council (TDC) has been appointed by the government to lead the Airport Authority for the next three years.

Lam, who has worked for TDC for the past 28 years, said his extensive travels for the council have helped him understand what it takes to run an airport operation.

He won over 100 applicants, nine of whom made it into the interview phase, Airport Authority chairman Vincent Lo said.

Lo said Lam’s TDC experience makes him capable of effectively handling his new job.

Lam assumes office on Oct. 1, succeeding Stanley Hui, who will leave on July 14, seven months before his contract was to have ended.

A proposed third runway will be one of Lam’s key objectives, with the need for airport services exceeding expectations.

The project is expected to cost more than HK$200 billion (US$25.8 billion), much higher than the HK$136.2 billion estimated in 2011.

It was reported that the government may introduce a HK$100 departure tax to help defray the cost.

Lo said the board of directors have yet to receive any such proposal.

Meanwhile, Travel Industry Council executive director Joseph Tung said the industry supports the third runway and considers a HK$100 departure tax acceptable, the report said.

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