Hong Kong International Airport

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Hong Kong International Airport
Chek Lap Kok Airport
香港國際機場
赤鱲角機場
HongKongAirportlogo.svg
A bird's eye view of Hong Kong International Airport.JPG
IATA: HKGICAO: VHHH
Summary
Airport typePublic
OperatorAirport Authority Hong Kong
ServesHong Kong
LocationChek Lap Kok, Hong Kong
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL28 ft / 9 m
Coordinates22°18′32″N 113°54′52″E / 22.30889°N 113.91444°E / 22.30889; 113.91444Coordinates: 22°18′32″N 113°54′52″E / 22.30889°N 113.91444°E / 22.30889; 113.91444
Websitewww.hongkongairport.com
Map
HKG is located in Hong Kong
HKG
HKG
Location within Hong Kong
Runways
DirectionLengthSurface
ftm
07R/25L12,4673,800Asphalt
07L/25R12,4673,800Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Passengers59,900,000
Cargo (metric tonnes)4,062,261
Economic impact$28.3 billion[2]
Social impact315.9 thousand[2]
ACI[3]
 
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"HKIA" redirects here. HKIA may also refer to Hong Kong Institute of Architects.
"Hong Kong Airport" redirects here. For the old airport at Kai Tak, see Kai Tak Airport. For the only other existing airport in the territory, see Shek Kong Airfield.
Hong Kong International Airport
Chek Lap Kok Airport
香港國際機場
赤鱲角機場
HongKongAirportlogo.svg
A bird's eye view of Hong Kong International Airport.JPG
IATA: HKGICAO: VHHH
Summary
Airport typePublic
OperatorAirport Authority Hong Kong
ServesHong Kong
LocationChek Lap Kok, Hong Kong
Hub for
Focus city for
Elevation AMSL28 ft / 9 m
Coordinates22°18′32″N 113°54′52″E / 22.30889°N 113.91444°E / 22.30889; 113.91444Coordinates: 22°18′32″N 113°54′52″E / 22.30889°N 113.91444°E / 22.30889; 113.91444
Websitewww.hongkongairport.com
Map
HKG is located in Hong Kong
HKG
HKG
Location within Hong Kong
Runways
DirectionLengthSurface
ftm
07R/25L12,4673,800Asphalt
07L/25R12,4673,800Asphalt
Statistics (2013)
Passengers59,900,000
Cargo (metric tonnes)4,062,261
Economic impact$28.3 billion[2]
Social impact315.9 thousand[2]
ACI[3]
Hong Kong International Airport
Simplified Chinese香港国际机场
Traditional Chinese香港國際機場
Chek Lap Kok Airport
Simplified Chinese机场
Traditional Chinese機場

Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKGICAO: VHHH) is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is located on the island of Chek Lap Kok, which largely comprises land reclaimed for the construction of the airport itself. The airport is also colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport (赤鱲角機場), to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport (啟德機場).

The airport has been commercially operational since 1998, replacing the former Kai Tak Airport, and is an important regional trans-shipment centre, passenger hub and gateway for destinations in Mainland China (with 44 destinations) and the rest of Asia. The airport is the world's busiest cargo gateway and one of the world's busiest passenger airports.[4]

The Hong Kong International Airport is also home to one of the world's largest passenger terminal buildings (the largest when opened in 1998). Hong Kong International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Asia. Operated by the Airport Authority Hong Kong 24 hours a day, the airport is the primary hub for Cathay Pacific (the flag carrier of Hong Kong), Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines, Hong Kong Express Airways and Air Hong Kong (cargo carrier). The airport is one of the hubs of Oneworld alliance, and it is also one of the Asian-Pacific cargo hubs for UPS Airlines.[1] It is a focus city for many airlines, including China Airlines (Taiwan), China Eastern Airlines. Singapore Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Air India use Hong Kong as a stopover point for the flights respectively.

HKIA is an important contributor to Hong Kong's economy, with approximately 65,000 employees. More than 100 airlines operate flights from the airport to over 180 cities across the globe. In 2013 HKIA handled 59.9 million passengers,[5] making it the 11th busiest airport worldwide by passenger traffic.[3] It also surpassed Memphis International Airport to become the world's busiest airport by cargo traffic.[6]

History[edit]

Map showing airport location (in yellow) on the north shore of Lantau Island
View of the airport from the Ngong Ping 360 cable car
A front view of Hong Kong Airport
The exterior of Hong Kong International Airport at night-time

Chek Lap Kok Airport was designed as a replacement for the former Hong Kong International Airport (commonly known as Kai Tak Airport) originally built in 1925. Located in the densely built-up Kowloon City District with a single runway extending into Kowloon Bay, Kai Tak had only limited room for expansion to cope with steadily increasing air traffic. By the 1990s, Kai Tak had become one of the world's busiest airports – it far exceeded its annual passenger and cargo design capacities, and one out of every three flights experienced delays, largely due to lack of space for aircraft, gates, and a second runway.[7] In addition, noise mitigation measures restricted nighttime flights, as severe noise pollution (exceeding 105 dB(A) in Kowloon City) adversely affected an estimated total of at least 340,000 people.[8][9]

A 1974 planning study by the Civil Aviation and Public Works departments identified the small island of Chek Lap Kok, off Lantau Island, as a possible airport replacement site. Away from the congested city centre, flight paths would be routed over the South China Sea rather than populous urban areas, enabling efficient round-the-clock operation of multiple runways. The Chek Lap Kok (CLK) airport master plan and civil engineering studies were completed towards the end of 1982 and 1983 respectively. In February 1983, however, the government shelved the project for financial and economic reasons. In 1988, the Port & Airport Development Strategy (PADS) Study was undertaken by consultants, headed by Mott MacDonald Hong Kong Limited, reporting in December 1989. This study looked at forecasts for both airport and port traffic to the year 2011 and came up with three recommended strategies for overall strategic development in Hong Kong. One of the three assumed maintaining the existing airport at Kaitak; a second assumed a possible airport in the Western Harbour between Lantau Island and Hong Kong Island; and the third assumed a new airport at CLK. The consultants produced detailed analyses for each scenario, enabling Government to consider these appraisals for each of the three "Recommended Strategies". In October 1989 the Governor of Hong Kong announced to the Legislative Council that a decision had been made on the long-term port and airport development strategy for the territory. The strategy to be adopted was that which included a replacement airport at Chek Lap Kok and incorporating new container terminals 8 and 9 at Stonecutters Island and east of the island of Tsing Yi respectively.[10]

In the PADS study the consultants advised that the earliest the airport could be opened was January 1998. However, in reaching the government's decision, this date was modified to January 1997, six months prior to the handover of the territory to China. Construction of the new airport began in 1991. As construction progressed, an agreement was reached with China that as much as possible of the airport would be completed before the handover to China in July 1997. In the event, British Prime Minister John Major opened the Tsing Ma Bridge, the main access to Lantau Island and the airport and its supporting community in May 1997, prior to the transfer of sovereignty to China. The airport itself was opened in July 1998.

The construction period was very rushed; specialists considered that only a 10–20-year period was sufficient for this massive project. Another cause for this rush was due to the uncertain future of the airport construction after the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China. It was originally believed that Beijing preferred to keep everything basically intact and minimise financial commitments for big projects, therefore stopping all construction despite the need for the new airport. In practice, the airport did not finish in time for the handover. However, China gave an additional year's grace period to finish the project.[11][12]

Hong Kong International Airport was built on a large artificial island, formed by levelling Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau islands (3.02 km² and 0.08 km² respectively), and reclaiming 9.38 km² of the adjacent seabed. The 12.48 square kilometres (3,080 acres) airport site added nearly 1% to Hong Kong's total surface area, connecting to the north side of Lantau Island near Tung Chung new town.[13]

Construction of the new airport was only part of the Airport Core Programme, which also involved construction of new road and rail links to the airport, with associated bridges and tunnels, and major land reclamation projects on both Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon. The project is the most expensive airport project ever, according to Guinness World Records. Construction of the new airport was voted as one of the Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century at the ConExpo conference in 1999.[14]

The detailed design for the airport terminal was awarded to a consortium led by Mott Connell (the Hong Kong office of UK consultant Mott MacDonald) with British Airports Authority as specialist designers for airport related aspects, Foster and Partners as architects and Ove Arup as specialist structural designers for the roof. Mott Connell were the designers for foundations, all other structural components and the mechanical and electrical work. Project architects were Foster and Partners. The sides of the terminals, predominantly glass, were designed to break during high speed winds, relieving pressure and allowing the terminal to withstand an intense typhoon.[11]

Opened on 6 July 1998, a week later than the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport, it took six years and US$20 billion to build. On that day at 6:25 am, Cathay Pacific flight 889 was the first commercial flight to land at the airport, pipping the original CX292 from Rome which was the scheduled first arrival. However, on the first day of opening, the airport had already started to experience some technical difficulties. The flight information display system (FIDS) had suddenly shut down which caused long delays. Shortly afterwards, the cargo communication link with Kai Tak, where all the data was stored, went down. In the same period of time, someone had accidentally deleted a critical database for cargo services. This meant that cargo had to be manually stored. At one point, the airport had to turn away freight headed for and exported from Hong Kong (except food and medical supplies) while it sorted out the mess. HKIA simply could not keep up without an automated computer assisting.[11] For three to five months after its opening, it suffered various severe organisational, mechanical and technical problems that almost crippled the airport. Computer glitches were to blame for the crisis. Lau Kang-way, a Hong Kong politician, was quoted saying "This was meant to be a first-class project, but it has turned into a ninth-class airport and a disgrace. Our airport has become the laughing stock of the world."[15][16] At one time, the government reopened the cargo terminal at Kai Tak Airport to handle freight traffic because of a breakdown at the new cargo terminal, named Super Terminal One (ST1).[17] However, after six months the airport started to operate normally.

On 31 July 2000, Todd Salimuchai, a regularised illegal immigrant in Hong Kong with no provable nationality, forced his way through a security checkpoint using a fake pistol, took a woman hostage, and boarded a Cathay Pacific aircraft. He demanded to be flown to Burma, which he claimed was his native country but had refused to admit him due to his lack of documents. He surrendered to police two and a half hours later.[18]

Officially opened in June 2007, the second airport terminal, called T2, (check-in facility only) is linked with the MTR Airport Express on a new platform. The terminal also features a new shopping mall, SkyPlaza, providing a large variety of shops and restaurants, together with a few entertainment facilities. T2 also houses a 36-bay coach-station for buses to and from mainland China and 56 airline check-in counters, as well as customs and immigration facilities.

Besides T2, the SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course has been opened in 2007 whereas the second airport hotel, the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel; and a permanent cross-boundary ferry terminal, the Skypier, began operations in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Development around T2 also includes the AsiaWorld-Expo which has started operation in late 2005.[19] A second passenger concourse, the North Satellite Concourse (NSC), opened in 2010.

Composition[edit]

Hong Kong International Airport covers an area of 1,255 hectares (4.85 sq mi). The airport has a total of 66 boarding gates,[20] with 66 jet bridge gates (1–4, 15–71, 501–510) and seven virtual gates (511–513, 521–524) which are used as assembly points for passengers, who are then ferried to the aircraft by apron buses. Of the 66 jet bridges, five (Gates 15,23,60,62,64) are capable of handling the Airbus A380, the current users of which are Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qantas, British Airways, Asiana Airlines, Air France. Previous users is Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, China Southern Airlines.

Terminal 1[edit]

Terminal 1 of the HKIA is the third largest airport passenger terminal building in the world with an area measuring 570,000 m2 (6,100,000 sq ft), after Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 and Beijing Capital International Airport's Terminal 3.[21]

At its opening, Terminal 1 was the largest airport passenger terminal building, with a total gross floor area of 531,000 m². It briefly conceded the status to Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport (563,000 m²) when the latter opened on 15 September 2006, but reclaimed the title when the East Hall was expanded, bringing the total area to its current size of 570,000m². (the East Hall expansion, designed by architecture firm Aedas,[22] included a 39,000 m² expansion to SkyMart, a shopping mall). Terminal 1's title as the world's largest was surrendered to Beijing Capital International Airport Terminal 3 on 29 February 2008.

Terminal 2[edit]

Terminal 2 (140,000 m²), together with the Skyplaza, opened on 28 February 2007 along with the opening of the Airport Station's Platform 3.[23] It is only a check-in and processing facility for departing passengers with no gates or arrival facilities (passengers are transported underground to gates at Terminal 1). So far a majority of low-cost carriers and some full-service carriers have relocated their check-in operations to T2. The SkyPlaza is situated within Terminal 2. Architecture firm Aedas and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designed Terminal 2 and the SkyPlaza.[24][25][26]

North Satellite Concourse[edit]

In 2007, HKIA began the construction of a two-storey North Satellite Concourse (NSC) which opened in December 2009.[27] This concourse was designed for narrow-body aircraft and is equipped with 10 jet bridges. The concourse has a floor area of 20,000 m² and will be able to serve more than five million passengers annually. There is a shuttle bus service between the NSC and Terminal 1 every four minutes. The North Satellite Concourse was built so the airport could accommodate at least 90 percent of its passengers by aerobridges. It has two levels (one for departures and one for arrivals). Architecture firm Aedas designed North Satellite Concourse[28]

Midfield Concourse[edit]

On 25 January 2011, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) unveiled phase 1 of its midfield development project which is targeted for completion by the end of 2015. The midfield area is located to the west of Terminal 1 and between the two existing runways. It is the last piece of land on the airport island available for large-scale development. This will include 20 aircraft parking stands, three of these will be wide enough to serve the Airbus A380, and cater for an additional 10 million passengers annually. Passengers will reach the concourse through an extension of the underground 'automated people mover' – a driverless train system which serves Terminal 1, Terminal 2 and the SkyPier ferry terminal which provides a ferry service to mainland China.[29] Architecture firm Aedas designed Midfield Concourse[30]

Other buildings[edit]

Cathay Pacific City, the head office of Cathay Pacific, is located on the airport property.[31] Dragonair House (港龍大厦), the head office of Dragonair, is also on the airport property.[32] The head office of Air Hong Kong, as of 2004, is located on the fourth floor of the South Tower of Cathay Pacific City.[33]

The head office of Hong Kong Airlines was previously on Level 2 of the CNAC House (中航大廈, Cantonese: jung1 hong4 daai6 ha6, Mandarin: Zhōngháng Dàshà) at HKIA.[34][35]

Future development[edit]

Updated layout plan (as of Dec. 2012) of the third runway option as published in the Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030.

In June 2010, the Airport Authority unveiled plans to develop in stages the vast midfield site of the airport island. Stage 1 will involve the construction of a new 20 gate passenger concourse to be built in 2 phases (completion 2015 and 2020) with 11 gates in phase 1 growing to 20 gates in phase 2. Configuration of the new concourse is similar to those at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Incheon International Airport. After stage 1 of midfield development is completed in 2020, there will be sufficient lands remaining for further new concourses to be built as and when demand for them materialises.[36]

Master Plan 2030[edit]

One year after, on 2 June 2011, the Airport Authority announced and released their latest version of a 20-year blueprint for the airport's development, the Hong Kong International Airport Master Plan 2030 to the public.[37] The study took three years and according to the authority, nine consulting organisations have been hired for the research, observation, planning and advice. The main focus is to improve the overall capacity and aircraft handling ability of the airport. Based on this, two plans have been made into options for public consultation:

Option 1: Two-runway system[edit]

To maintain the current two-runway system, while there will be enhancements to the terminal and apron facilities to increase the airport's capacity. This option will enable the airport to handle a maximum of 420,000 flight movements per year, with annual passenger and cargo throughput increased to 74 million and six million tonnes respectively. The approximate cost of this plan is $23.4 billion Hong Kong dollars in price of 2010, or HK$42.5 billion considering at money-of-the-day prices. It will increase number of direct jobs associated with HKIA to 101,000 by 2030 (from 62,000 in 2008) and generate a total of HK$432 billion (in 2009 dollars) in economic net present value (ENPV) over a 50-year lifespan up to 2061. However, the Airport Authority estimates that the airport will reach its maximum runway capacity sometime around 2020 if no extra runway is being added.

Option 2: Three-runway system[edit]

This plan will focus on developing a third runway to the north of the Chek Lap Kok, the existing island the airport is built on, by land reclamation using deep cement mixing of about 650 hectares (approximately 1606 acres). The associated facilities – additional terminals, airfield and apron facilities will be built accordingly, and combined with the new runway, it is estimated that the airport would be able to handle a maximum of 620,000 flights per year (102 per hour, or about one flight every 36 seconds), and meet forecast annual passenger and cargo throughput of about 97 million and 8.9 million tonnes by 2030 respectively.

There are possible drawbacks. Development costs are a concern: although the proposal would increase the number of direct jobs associated with HKIA to 141,000 by 2030 and generate an ENPV of HK$912 billion (in 2009 dollars) over a 50-year lifespan up to 2061, the estimated cost is approximately $86.2 billion (2010) Hong Kong Dollars, or HK$136.2 billion (at money-of-the-day prices). There are also environmental and local noise pollution concerns.

On 20 March 2012, the Hong Kong Government adopted this option as the official expansion plan.[38]

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

Landing
Air China Airbus A321-200 on final landing
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER Special livery on final landing
Dragonair Airbus A330-300 on final landing
Thai Airways Boeing 777-200 on final landing
AirlinesDestinationsTerminal
AeroflotMoscow-Sheremetyevo1
Aeroflot operated by AuroraSeasonal: Vladivostok (resumes 2 July 2014)[39]2
AirAsiaKota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur2
Air AstanaAlmaty2
Air BusanBusan2
Air CanadaToronto-Pearson, Vancouver1
Air ChinaBeijing-Capital, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Ordos, Tianjin1
Air FranceParis-Charles de Gaulle1
Air IndiaDelhi, Mumbai, Osaka-Kansai, Seoul-Incheon1
Air MauritiusMauritius1
Air New ZealandAuckland1
Air NiuginiPort Moresby1
Air SeychellesAbu Dhabi,[40] Mahe[40]1
All Nippon AirwaysNagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita1
American AirlinesDallas/Fort Worth1
Asiana AirlinesSeoul-Incheon1
Bangkok AirwaysKoh Samui2
Biman Bangladesh AirlinesDhaka1
British AirwaysLondon-Heathrow1
Cathay PacificAdelaide, Amsterdam, Auckland, Bahrain, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Brisbane, Cairns, Cebu, Chennai, Chicago-O'Hare, Colombo, Delhi, Denpasar/Bali, Doha,[41] Dubai-International, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Ho Chi Minh City, Hyderabad, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Johannesburg, Karachi (ends 28 June 2014),[42] Kuala Lumpur, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Malé, Manchester (resumes 8 December 2014),[43] Manila, Melbourne, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Domodedovo, Mumbai, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Newark, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Perth, Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino, San Francisco, Sapporo-Chitose, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Surabaya, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver, Zürich (resumes 29 March 2015)[44]1
Cebu PacificClark, Cebu, Iloilo, Manila1
China AirlinesJakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Kaohsiung, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tainan1
China Eastern AirlinesFuzhou, Hangzhou, Hefei, Huai'an Jinan, Kunming, Lijiang, Nanchang, Nanjing, Ningbo, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shanghai-Pudong, Taiyuan, Wuxi, Xi'an, Yantai, Yinchuan1
China Southern AirlinesBeijing-Capital, Guangzhou, Meixian, Jieyang-Chaoshan, Shenyang, Wuhan, Zhengzhou
1
City AirwaysBangkok-Don Mueang, Phuket2
Delta Air LinesSeattle/Tacoma,[45] Tokyo-Narita1
DragonairBangalore, Beijing-Capital, Busan, Changsha, Chengdu, Chiang Mai, Chongqing, Clark, Da Nang, Denpasar/Bali,[46] Dhaka, Fukuoka, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Guilin, Haikou, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Jeju, Kaohsiung, Kathmandu, Kolkata, Kota Kinabalu, Kunming, Manila, Naha, Nanjing, Ningbo, Penang, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shanghai-Pudong, Taichung, Taipei-Taoyuan, Wenzhou, Wuhan, Xi'an, Xiamen, Yangon, Zhengzhou
Seasonal: Siem Reap[47]
1
Eastar JetSeoul-Incheon2
El AlTel Aviv-Ben Gurion1
EmiratesBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Dubai-International1
Ethiopian AirlinesAddis Ababa, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi (ends 3 July 2014),[48] Seoul-Incheon[49]1
EVA AirTaipei-Taoyuan1
Fiji AirwaysNadi2
FinnairHelsinki1
Garuda IndonesiaDenpasar/Bali, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta1
Hong Kong Airlines[50]Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Chengdu, Chongqing, Denpasar/Bali, Fuzhou, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Harbin, Ho Chi Minh City, Kagoshima, Malé (resumes 12 July 2014),[51] Naha, Nanning, Nanjing, Sanya, Shanghai-Hongqiao, Shanghai-Pudong, Taipei-Taoyuan, Taiyuan, Tianjin, Xiamen, Xuzhou1
Hong Kong Express AirwaysBusan (begins 7 August 2014),[52] Chiang Mai, Fukuoka, Kota Kinabalu, Kunming, Nagoya-Centrair (begins 25 September 2014),[53] Ningbo (begins 31 July 2014),[54] Osaka-Kansai, Penang, Phuket, Seoul-Incheon, Taichung, Tokyo-Haneda2
Hunnu AirUlaanbaatar2
Japan AirlinesTokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita1
Jeju AirSeoul-Incheon2
Jetstar Asia AirwaysSingapore2
Jet AirwaysDelhi, Mumbai2
Jin AirSeoul-Incheon2
Juneyao AirlinesShanghai-Pudong2
Kenya AirwaysBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Nairobi-Jomo Kenyatta1
KLMAmsterdam1
Korean AirBusan, Seoul-Incheon1
LufthansaFrankfurt, Munich1
Malaysia AirlinesKota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching1
Mandarin AirlinesTaichung1
Mega MaldivesMalé, Koror1
MIAT Mongolian AirlinesUlaanbaatar1
Nepal AirlinesKathmandu1
Orient Thai AirlinesBangkok-Suvarnabhumi1
PeachOsaka-Kansai2
Philippine AirlinesManila2
QantasBrisbane, Melbourne, Sydney1
Qatar AirwaysDoha1
Royal Brunei AirlinesBandar Seri Begawan1
Royal JordanianAmman-Queen Alia, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi2
S7 AirlinesKhabarovsk, Novosibirsk, Vladivostok2
ScootSingapore1
Shanghai AirlinesShanghai-Hongqiao1
Shenzhen AirlinesQuanzhou2
Sichuan AirlinesChengdu, Yichang, Zhanjiang1
Singapore AirlinesSan Francisco, Singapore1
South African AirwaysJohannesburg2
Spring AirlinesShanghai-Pudong, Shijiazhuang2
SriLankan AirlinesBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Colombo1
Swiss International Air LinesZürich1
Thai AirAsiaBangkok-Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Phuket2
Thai AirwaysBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Phuket, Seoul-Incheon2
TigerairSingapore2
Tigerair MandalaDenpasar-Bali2
Tigerair PhilippinesClark2
Transaero AirlinesMoscow-Domodedovo1
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul-Atatürk1
United AirlinesChicago-O'Hare, Guam, Ho Chi Minh City, Newark, San Francisco, Singapore1
Vietnam AirlinesHanoi, Ho Chi Minh City1
Virgin AtlanticLondon-Heathrow1
Xiamen AirlinesQuanzhou, Wuyishan, Xiamen1
Cities with direct air connectivity to Hong Kong

Cargo[edit]

AirlinesDestinations
Air France CargoBahrain, Dammam, Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Air Hong KongBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Penang, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita
AirBridgeCargo AirlinesAlmaty, Angeles, Amsterdam, Yekaterinburg, Frankfurt, Krasnoyarsk, Moscow-Domodedovo, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Moscow-Vnukovo, St. Petersburg
ANA CargoNagoya-Centrair, Naha, Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita
Asiana CargoSeoul-Incheon
Atlas AirAbu Dhabi, Adana/Incirlik, Anchorage, Austin, Ault Field, Bagram, Baku, Chicago-O'Hare, Cincinnati, Ciudad del Este, Dover, Dubai, Eielson AFB, Fairfield, Guam, Hahn, Huntsville, Lagos, Iwakuni, Kadena, Kagoshima, Kandahar, Karaganda, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mazari, Melbourne, Miami, New York-JFK, Osaka-Kansai, Osan, Sapporo-Chitose, Seoul-Incheon, Sharjah, Sydney, Toledo, Yerevan
CargoluxAbu Dhabi, Almaty, Amman-Queen Alia, Baku, Barcelona, Beirut, Budapest, Chicago-O'Hare, Columbus-Rickenbacker,[55] Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Helsinki, Ho Chi Minh City, Karaganda, Komatsu, London-Stansted, Los Angeles, Luxembourg, New York-JFK, Nuremberg, Riyadh, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Upington
Cargolux ItaliaAlmaty, Dubai, Milan-Malpensa, Osaka-Kansai
Cathay Pacific CargoAnchorage, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Chengdu, Chennai, Chongqing, Columbus-Rickenbacker, Delhi, Dhaka, Dubai-DWC, Guadalajara, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Manchester, Mexico City, Mumbai, Osaka-Kansai, Penang, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita, Xiamen
China Airlines CargoManila, Taipei-Taoyuan
China Cargo AirlinesQingdao, Shanghai-Pudong
DETA Air JSCAlmaty
DHL Air UKDelhi, Leipzig/Halle
DHL Express operated by AeroLogicLeipzig/Halle[56]
Emirates SkyCargoDubai
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo[57]Addis Ababa, Chennai
Etihad Crystal Cargo[58]Abu Dhabi, Delhi, Chittagong, Dhaka, Sydney
EVA Air CargoChongqing, Shanghai-Pudong, Taipei-Taoyuan[59]
FedEx ExpressAlmaty, Anchorage, Delhi, Manila, Memphis, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Seoul-Incheon, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita
Finnair Cargo
operated by Nordic Global Airlines
Brussels, Helsinki
Hong Kong Airlines CargoBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Dhaka, Hanoi, Osaka-Kansai, Nanning, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Xiamen, Zhengzhou[60]
IAG Cargo
operated by Qatar Airways Cargo
London-Heathrow[61]
Kalitta AirAnchorage, Astana, Bagram, Bahrain, Brussels, Chicago-O'Hare, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dallas/Fort Worth, Delhi, Dubai, Kabul, Kadena, Khabarovsk, Los Angeles, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Newark, Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, Seoul-Incheon
KLM Cargo
operated by Martinair Cargo1
Almaty[62]
Korean Air CargoSeoul-Incheon
Lufthansa Cargo[63]Almaty, Bahrain, Frankfurt, Leipzig/Halle


Martinair Cargo1Amsterdam, Chennai, Delhi, Dubai-Al Maktoum, Kuwait, Mumbai, Sharjah[64]
MASkargoKuala Lumpur, Manila, Penang
Nippon Cargo AirlinesOsaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita
Polar Air CargoAnchorage, Bahrain, Campinas, Chicago-O'Hare, Cincinnati, Leipzig/Halle, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, Seoul-Incheon, Wilmington
Polet AirlinesAshgabat, Dhaka, Nottingham/East Midlands, Liege, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Novosibirsk
Qantas Freight[65]Sydney
Qatar Airways CargoDoha
Saudia CargoDammam, Jeddah, Riyadh, Thiruvananthapuram
SF AirlinesNingbo, Xiamen[66]
Shenzhen Donghai Airlines[67]Chengdu, Shenzhen
Silk Way AirlinesBaku
Singapore Airlines Cargo[68]Anchorage, Sharjah, Singapore
Southern AirCincinnati, Anchorage, Sharjah, Leipzig/Halle, Los Angeles
TNT AirwaysDubai, Liege
Transmile Air ServicesAnchorage, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Riverside, Subang
Tri-MG Intra Asia AirlinesAngeles, Cebu
Turkish Airlines CargoAlmaty, Bishkek, Delhi, Istanbul-Atatürk[69]
ULS CargoBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Manila, Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Penang, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita
UPS AirlinesAnchorage, Angeles, Cologne/Bonn, Dubai, Honolulu, Louisville, Mumbai, Ontario, Osaka-Kansai, Philadelphia, Sapporo-Chitose, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Wilmington
Yangtze River ExpressChengdu, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai-Pudong, Tianjin, Zhengzhou

1Martinair operate aircraft in KLM colour scheme on these routes.

Operations[edit]

The airport control tower and a taxiing China Airlines Airbus A330
Operations and Statistics[70][71][72]
yearPassenger
movements
Airfreight
movements
(tonnes)
Aircraft
movement
199828,631,0001,628,700163,200
199930,394,0001,974,300167,400
200033,374,0002,240,600181,900
200133,065,0002,074,300196,800
200234,313,0001,637,797206,700
200327,433,0002,642,100187,500
200437,142,0003,093,900237,300
200540,740,0003,402,000263,500
200644,443,0003,580,000280,000
200747,783,0003,742,000295,580
200848,582,0003,627,000301,000
200945,499,6043,440,581273,505
201050,410,8194,112,416306,535
201153,909,0003,939,000333,760
201256,057,7514,062,261352,000
201359,913,0004,122,000372,040
Capacity
Passenger (current)59,900,000
Passenger (ultimate)60,000,000
Cargo (current)4.1m tonnes
Cargo (ultimate)7.4m tonnes
Apron (current)96
Number of destinations
International (air)154
International (water)6
The view of the airport from the control tower, with an EVA Air Boeing 747 on a nearby taxiway
The interior of the airport control tower

The airport is operated by the Airport Authority Hong Kong, a statutory body wholly owned by the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) is responsible for the provision of air traffic control services, certification of Hong Kong registered aircraft, monitoring of airlines on their compliance with bilateral Air Services Agreements and the regulation of general civil aviation activities.[73]

The airport has two parallel runways, both of which are 3800 metres in length and 60 metres wide, enabling them to cater to the next generation of aircraft. The south runway has been given a Category II Precision Approach, while the north runway has the higher Category IIIA rating, which allows pilots to land in only 200-metre visibility. The two runways have an ultimate capacity of over 60 aircraft movements an hour. The Airport is upgrading ATC and runways so that they can handle 68 movements per hour. Normally, the north runway (07L/25R) is for landing passenger planes. The south runway (07R/25L) is for passenger planes taking off and cargo flights due to its proximity to the cargo terminal.[70]

There are 49 frontal stands at the main passenger concourse, 28 remote stands and 25 cargo stands. Five parking bays at the Northwest Concourse are already capable of accommodating the arrivals of the next generation of aircraft. A satellite concourse with 10 frontal stands for narrow body aircraft has been commissioned to the north of the main concourse at the end of 2009, bringing the total number of frontal stands at the airport to 59.

The airport was the third busiest for passenger traffic in Asia in 2010, and the world's busiest airport for cargo traffic in 2010. In terms of international traffic, the airport is the third busiest for passenger traffic and the busiest for cargo since its operation in 1998. There are over 95 international airlines providing about 900 scheduled passenger and all-cargo flights each day between Hong Kong and some 160 destinations worldwide. About 76 percent of these flights are operated with wide-bodied jets. There are also an average of approximately 31 non-scheduled passenger and cargo flights each week.[74]

The operation of scheduled air services to and from Hong Kong is facilitated by air services agreements between Hong Kong and other countries. Since the opening of HKIA, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has implemented a policy of progressive liberalisation of air services with the intention of promoting consumer choice and competition. Many low-cost airlines have started various regional routes to compete head-on with full-service carriers on trunk routes.[75]

The airport's long term expansion opportunities are subject to variables. An HKD 80 billion proposal to build a third runway has been under feasibility study and consultation but would be very expensive as it would involve additional reclamation from deep waters, and the building cost of the third runway may be as high as the building cost of the entire airport. On the other hand, there exists only one airway between Hong Kong and mainland China, and this single route is often and easily backed up causing delays on both sides. In addition, China requires that aircraft flying the single air route between Hong Kong and the mainland must be at an altitude of at least 15,000 feet. Talks are underway to persuade the Chinese military to relax its airspace restriction in view of worsening air traffic congestion at the airport. Other than that, Hong Kong Airport Authority is co-operating with other airports in the area to relieve air traffic and in the future, Shenzhen may act as a regional airport while Hong Kong receives all the international flights.[76]

Air traffic[edit]

The Government Flying Service provides short and long range search and rescue services, police support, medical evacuation and general purpose flights for the Government.

Passenger facilities[edit]

The airport is one of the most accessible in operation today. Despite its size, the passenger terminal is designed for maximum convenience. A simple layout and effective signage, moving walkways and the automated people mover allow quick and easy movement throughout the building. The airport also features the HKIA Automated People Mover, a driverless people mover system consisting of 3 stations to provide fast transportation between the check-in area and the gates. These trains travel at 62 km/h and there is no charge for their use.

Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre[edit]

Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre

The Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre (BAC) is located within the confines of the airport and has its own terminal and facilities separate from the public terminal. It provides a full range of services for executive aircraft and passengers, including passenger lounge, private rooms and showers, business centre facilities, ground handling, baggage handling, fuelling, security, customs and flight planning. Designated spaces and hangarage are also provided at the BAC for private aircraft.

Intermodal transportation hub[edit]

To sustain the growth of passengers, the Airport Authority formulated a "push and pull through" strategy to expand its connections to new sources of passengers and cargo. This means adapting the network to the rapidly growing markets in China and in particular to the Pearl River Delta region (PRD). In 2003, two major events improved connections to the PRD. One was the opening of a new Airport-Mainland Coach Station. The coach station features a 230 m² waiting lounge and sheltered bays for ten coaches. The dedicated coach terminal provides a comfortable environment for passengers travelling between HKIA and different cities in the PRD. A huge number of buses are operating per day to transport passengers between HKIA and major cities in the Mainland.[77]

The Coach Station was relocated to Ground Floor (Level 3) of Terminal 2 in 2007. The 36 bays at the new Coach Station allow cross-border coaches to make 320 trips a day carrying passengers between the airport and 90 cities and towns in the PRD. Local tour and hotel coaches also operate from T2. The coach station at T2 not only equips with shops and waiting lounges, but also includes a mainland coach service centre which gathers all operators together to provide efficient service to mainland passengers.[78]

HKIA's network to China was expanded by the opening of SkyPier in late September 2003, offering millions in the PRD direct access to the airport. Passengers coming to SkyPier by high-speed ferries can board buses for onward flights while arriving air passengers can board ferries at the pier for their journeys back to the PRD. Passengers travelling both directions can bypass custom and immigration formalities, which reduces transit time. Four ports – Shekou, Shenzhen, Macau and Humen (Dongguan) – were initially served. As of August 2007, SkyPier serves Shenzhen's Shekou and Fuyong, Dongguan's Humen, Macau, Zhongshan and Zhuhai. Moreover, passengers travelling from Shekou and Macau piers can even complete airline check-in procedures with participating airlines before boarding the ferries and go straight to the boarding gate for the connecting flight at HKIA. The provision of cross boundary coach and ferry services has transformed HKIA into an inter-modal transportation hub combining air, sea and land transport.

In 2009, the permanent SkyPier Terminal started operation. The permanent ferry terminal is equipped with four berths, but the design of the terminal can accommodate eight berths. Transfer desks and baggage handling facilities are included, while the terminal is also directly connected to the extended automatic people mover system. The system links up the terminal and the boarding area seamlessly, that PRD passengers can access the terminal/boarding area directly.

Terminal 1.
Baggage Claim Area

Baggage and cargo facilities[edit]

SuperTerminal 1
Asia Airfreight Terminal
DHL Central Asia Hub

Ramp handling services are provided by Hong Kong Airport Services Limited (HAS), Jardine Air Terminal Services Limited and SATS HK Limited. Their services include the handling of mail and passenger baggage, transportation of cargo, aerobridge operations and the operation of passenger stairways. The airport has an advanced baggage handling system (BHS), the main section of which is located in the basement level of the passenger terminal, and a separate remote transfer facility at the western end of the main concourse for handling of tight connection transfer bags.

HKIA handles well over three million tonnes of cargo annually.[79] Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited operates one of the two air cargo terminals at the airport. Its headquarters, the 328,000 m² SuperTerminal 1,[80] is the world's second largest stand-alone air cargo handling facility, after the opening of the West Cargo Handling Area of the Shanghai Pudong International Airport in 26 March 2008. The designed capacity is 2.6 million tonnes of freight a year. The second air cargo terminal is operated by Asia Airfreight Terminal Company Limited, and has a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes a year.[81] DHL operates the DHL Central Asia Hub cargo facility handles 35,000 parcels and 40,000 packages per hour. Hongkong Post operates the Air Mail Centre (AMC) and processes 700,000 packages per day. It is envisaged that HKIA's total air cargo capacity per annum will reach nine million tonnes ultimately.[82]

Aircraft maintenance services[edit]

Both line and base maintenance services are undertaken by Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO), while China Aircraft Services Limited (CASL) and Pan Asia Pacific Aviation Services Limited carry out line maintenance. Line maintenance services include routine servicing of aircraft performed during normal turnaround periods and regularly scheduled layover periods. Base maintenance covers all airframe maintenance services and for this HAECO has a three-bay hangar, which can accommodate up to three Boeing 747-400 aircraft and two Airbus A320 aircraft, and an adjoining support workshop. HAECO also has the world's largest mobile hangar, weighing over 400 tons. It can be used to enclose half of a wide-body aeroplane, so that the whole facility can fully enclose four 747s when the mobile hangar is used.

On 29 May 2009, CASL opened its first aircraft maintenance hangar in the maintenance area of the airport. The new hangar occupies an area of about 10,000 square metres to accommodate one wide-body and one narrow-body aircraft at the same time; the hangar also has about 10,000 square metre area in its annexe building. CASL specialises in Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 Next Generation series heavy maintenance.[83]

Airport based ground services[edit]

The Air Traffic Control Complex (ATCX), located at the centre of the airfield, is the nerve centre of the entire air traffic control system. Some 370 air traffic controllers and supporting staff work around the clock to provide air traffic control services for the safe and efficient flow of aircraft movements within the Hong Kong Flight Information Region (FIR). At the Air Traffic Control Tower, controllers provide 24-hour aerodrome control services to aircraft operating at the airport. A Backup Air Traffic Control Centre/Tower constructed to the north of the ATCX is available for operational use in the event normal services provided in the ATCX are disrupted by unforeseen circumstances. Apart from serving as an operational backup, the facilities are also used for air traffic control training.

The Airport Meteorological Office (AMO) of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) provides weather services for the aviation community The AMO makes routine and special weather observations and provides fixed-time aerodrome forecasts and landing forecasts for the HKIA. It issues aerodrome warnings on adverse weather for protection of aerodrome facilities and aircraft on the ground. It also issues significant weather information on thunderstorms, tropical cyclones, turbulence, icing and other hazardous weather which may affect aviation safety in the area within which Hong Kong is responsible for the provision of air traffic services. To enhance the safety of aircraft landing and taking off from HKIA, the AMO issues alerts of low-level windshear and turbulence. Windshear detection is made using traditional doppler weather radars as well as the more effective doppler LIDAR, of which Hong Kong International Airport was the first to introduce. Doppler LIDAR systems use lasers to detect windshear and wind direction even when atmospheric conditions are too dry for Doppler radar to work.

Rescue and fire fighting services within the airport are covered by the Airport Fire Contingent of the Hong Kong Fire Services Department. The contingent has a strength of 282 uniformed members, operating two fire stations and two rescue berths for 24-hour emergency calls. It is equipped with 14 fire appliances which can respond to incidents within two minutes in optimum conditions of visibility and surface conditions, satisfying the relevant recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Two high capacity rescue boats, supported by eight speed boats, form the core of sea rescue operations.

Ground transport[edit]

The Airport was built with ground-transportation considerations in mind connected by the North Lantau Highway on Lantau Island, providing a fast and scenic link to inner Hong Kong. Getting to and from Hong Kong International Airport is therefore easy, convenient and relatively inexpensive.

Terminal-to-terminal travel is also quick and simple. Operated by the Airport Authority and maintained by MTR Corporation, there is an automated people mover connecting the East Hall to the West Hall and Terminal 2. Extension to SkyPier was also completed and opened to public in late 2009.

Bus[edit]

Cross-boundary coach bus terminal located in terminal 2
Main article: Buses in Hong Kong

Citybus, New Lantao Bus, Long Win Bus and Discovery Bay Transit Services all together operate 25 bus routes to the airport from various parts of Hong Kong, available at the Airport Ground Transportation Centre and Cheong Tat Road. The bus companies also offer 10 overnight "N" services since the airport is open 24-hours a day.[84]

Passengers can also take the S1 Citybus[85] to the Tung Chung MTR Station. From there they can board the MTR Tung Chung line which follows the same route as the MTR Airport Express to Central.

Coach services are available to major cities and towns in Guangdong Province, such as Dongguan, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

Ferry[edit]

SkyPier

Direct ferry services are available from the airport to various destinations throughout the Pearl River Delta via Skypier. Passengers using these services are treated as transit passengers and are not considered to have entered Hong Kong for immigration purposes. For this reason, access to the ferry terminal is before immigration in the airport for arriving passengers. Check-in services are available at these piers. Four ports – Shekou, Shenzhen Airport (Fuyong), Macau and Humen (Dongguan) – were initially served, extending to Guangzhou and Zhongshan at the end of 2003. The Zhuhai service began on 10 July 2007 while a Nansha service started on 14 July 2009.[86]

Rail[edit]

Airport Express connecting between the airport and the central business district of Central.
Airport Express – Airport Station

The airport can be reached by the Airport Express, a dedicated rail link provided by the Mass Transit Railway. Serving Tsing Yi, Kowloon, and Hong Kong, it is the fastest mode of transport to the airport from the city, taking only 24 minutes to reach the airport from Hong Kong station.[87] It offers free shuttle bus services to and from hotels and complimentary transfers to and from the MTR. In addition, both Hong Kong and Kowloon stations provide complimentary and exclusive in-town check-in services for major airlines. There are also discount promotions for group tickets annually.

The Airport Express line terminates at AsiaWorld–Expo, located near the airport. This segment of the Airport Express started operations on 20 December 2005 to facilitate the opening of the expo.

Taxi[edit]

Main article: Taxicabs of Hong Kong

The airport is served by all three different types of taxi, distinguished by their colour:

Airport hotels[edit]

There are 3 hotels located in the nearby area, which are: Hong Kong Skycity Marriott Hotel (connect to AsiaWorld Expo),[88] Novotel Hong Kong Citygate (Tung Chung)[89] and Regal Airport Hotel.[90] In 2013, the Regal Airport Hotel was named by Skytrax as the best airport hotel in the world.[91]

Aviation accidents and incidents[edit]

The following are events at the current HKIA (see accidents and incidents at the former HKIA at Kai Tak):

Accolades[edit]

YearAwardCategoryResultsRef
2008Airport Service Quality Awards
by Airports Council International
Best Airport Worldwide3rd[93]
2009[94]
Best Airport in Asia-Pacific
Best Airport by Size (over 40 million passenger)Won
2010Best Airport Worldwide3rd[95]
20114th[96]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]