Hong Kong airport passengers departing city to pay more in security fees in 2025

Passengers leaving Hong Kong’s airport will have to pay an extra HK$10 (US$1.3) each in security fees next year, with the amount set to keep rising in the next few years.

The Airport Authority said on Tuesday that the passenger security charge at Hong Kong International Airport will increase by 18 per cent from HK$55 to HK$65 starting from January 2025.

The fee, collected by airlines, will rise again in phases to HK$75 from 2027 onwards depending on passenger traffic and prevailing traveller demand at the airport.

However, the new charge would not apply to tickets issued before January 1, 2025, even if the travel date falls on or after January 1, 2025, the authority added.

“The adjustments will provide funding for further upgrading the airport’s security facilities and systems,” the authority said in a statement.

The upgrades include installing a smart passenger security screening system, replacing the hold baggage screening system and expanding the security coverage to related areas under the three-runway system, it added.

The passenger security charge was last adjusted in 2021. The authority said the fee is based on its “user pay, cost recovery principle.”

The latest increase means the authority could pocket an extra HK$101.5 million for half a year based on the HK$564 million in security charges it received in the six months ending September 30 last year.

Authorities hinted at the fee increase during a Legislative council panel meeting last week. The authority’s director of finance Julian Lee Pui-hang said the authority’s debt burden over the ongoing airport expansion worsened and hit HK$123 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic and unrecovered passenger numbers.

Passengers depart Hong Kong on the first day of the Labour Day ‘golden week’ holiday. Photo: Yik Yeung-man

The airport’s expansion project costs HK$141.5 billion and includes a new 3.8km (2.4 miles) third runway, a second terminal building opposite the existing one, and a new concourse. Construction is expected to be completed this year.

The airport construction fee currently charges every passenger, including those transiting through Chek Lap Kok, between HK$70 and HK$180 a trip, depending on distance and seat class. These fees are included in the ticket purchase.

The levies were part of a financial arrangement announced before work on the project started in 2016.

The government decided against taxpayer money to fund construction, which allowed it to bypass the Legislative Council’s approval.

It opted instead to use levies on passengers and airlines, as well as its own savings, bank loans and bond issuance.

The authority offered HK$5 billion in retail bonds to the public in January for the first time in two decades to raise extra funds.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Tourism Board logged a 17.3 per cent year on year visitor arrivals at 3.4 million in April, with non-mainland China markets rising by 54 per cent.

Short-haul markets, fuelled by the end of Ramadan, saw over 80 per cent growth in Indonesian visitor arrivals compared to 2023, while long-haul markets like the US and Canada also experienced over a 80 per cent year-on-year surge in visitor arrivals.



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