The Airport Authority will complete its feasibility study on building a third runway at Chek Lap Kok by the end of the year. Hong Kong cannot afford to sit idle as neighbouring airports expand, its chief executive, Stanley Hui Hon-chung, says. The authority is preparing a report which will consider how the airport can be developed - such as by adding a runway - to maintain the city's edge as an aviation hub. Hui said a decision on the runway should be taken quickly, given that airports in the region were expanding aggressively. He said a new runway would take eight to 10 years to complete, including the time needed for approval and construction. The proposal for a third runway was first raised in a report released in 2006. That study estimated that, by 2025, the airport would serve 80 million passengers and handle eight million tonnes of cargo and 490,000 flights each year. Meanwhile, Hui said the authority had no plans to extend the relief package for airlines and other operators at the airport when it expired at the end of the month. In April last year, the authority introduced relief measures of HK$450 million, including interest-free, deferred payments and lower fees, to help airlines and other operators whose business had been hit by the economic downturn. Joe Ng, the deputy chairman of the Board of Airline Representatives, a trade body that represents about 80 airlines operating at Chek Lap Kok, said it had held talks with the authority over more help on rent and other charges. Despite recent signs of a pick-up in passenger and cargo business, the global aviation industry is still struggling. Some carriers are replacing their first-class cabins with cheaper seats to attract more travellers. Ng said major carriers would feel the impact of an end to fee discounts more than the smaller airlines. Parking and landing fees account for about 10 per cent of an airline's overheads.