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With growing cargo traffic and shrinking space availability, HACTL had one direction to go to build a new facility: up.
When Hong Kong's air cargo handling Terminal 2 opened in November last year, it seemed at first glance to be a luxury -- a HKSI.3 billion (U.S. $167 million) luxury -- that would be tossed away six years later when Hong Kong's new airport is scheduled to open.
And critics do grumble about the high cost of the building and resulting growth in handling fees. But Terminal 2, set up by Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. (HACTL), was built to meet the growth of Hong Kong's foreign trade and to further its role as a regional transportation center.
Bengt Sjoeberg, chairman of Hong Kong Association of Air Freight Agents, said: 'You look at the forecast of 8 percent growth a year, and it would have been unbearable without Terminal 2 or some extension of Terminal 1. We could not possibly wait until 1997."
HACTL operates Terminal 2 as part of a government-granted monopoly to provide cargo handling, storage, build-up, breakdown and data and documentation processing on a 24-hour basis at Hong Kong International Airport. The company began operations in 1976.
According to HACTL, growth in air cargo stretched Terminal 1 almost to the breaking point in 1990. The facility handled …