Corporate jet manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace believes the centre for executive jets at the new airport will elevate Hong Kong to one of the main hubs for corporate aviation in Asia. Vice-chairman Brian Moss said the group was aiming at Hong Kong and the mainland for extra business on the back of the slots that will be available for corporate jets at the new airport. The Hong Kong consortium building and operating the corporate jet facility at Chek Lap Kok - led by Sun Hung Kai Properties and several high-profile business figures - is looking to make the terminal the 'show window' of Hong Kong to an audience of senior businessmen and other elite figures. Virtually no corporate jets have been able to fly into Kai Tak airport in recent years because of the slot priority given to full passenger aircraft and the fact that it is operating at full capacity. Even international celebrities - most recently NBA basketball star Shaquille O'Neal - have been forced to fly into the under-utilised Macau airport in corporate jets and find other transport if they want to come to Hong Kong. This has, in many cases, meant lost business for the SAR. Mr Moss believes the opening of the corporate jet terminal at Chek Lap Kok at the end of next year - when the second runway begins operations - will open up a completely new market for Hong Kong. 'Hong Kong will become a key planning point as companies in other parts of the world look towards Asia,' he said. 'I don't think anyone would deny Hong Kong has the location to become a very important hub for corporate jets.' Until now, there had not been a choice - in terms of ease of access for corporate jets - between Hong Kong and Singapore. 'Now there is a choice, and I would suspect it will become very competitive,' he said. Gulfstream last year made Hong Kong its second Asian office - a move partly attributable to the expected business to come from Chek Lap Kok. The new airport would 'allow companies to have corporate jets', Mr Moss said. The corporate jet terminal would help enhance Hong Kong's status as a centre for servicing the mainland among multinational corporations, he said. Airport Authority projections for the corporate jet terminal predict a slow start, but significant growth beyond the year 2000. In 1999, the first year of operation of the business aviation centre, it has been forecast by the authority there will be 1,200 corporate jet trips made to Chek Lap Kok. This figure is expected to grow to up to 6,000 by 2005, and to up to 11,000 by 2010, according to projections.