Hong Kong International Airport: Wikis


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Hong Kong International Airport
Chek Lap Kok Airport
View of HK Airport from air.JPG
Airport type Public
Operator Airport Authority Hong Kong
Serves Hong Kong
Location Chek Lap Kok
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 28 ft / 9 m
Coordinates 22°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
Website www.hongkongairport.com
Direction Length Surface
ft m
07R/25L 12,467 3,800 Asphalt
07L/25R 12,467 3,800 Asphalt
Hong Kong International Airport
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Chek Lap Kok Airport
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKGICAO: VHHH) is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport (赤鱲角機場), because it was built on the island of Chek Lap Kok by land reclamation, and also to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.

The airport opened for commercial operations in 1998, replacing Kai Tak, and is an important regional trans-shipment centre, passenger hub and gateway for destinations in Mainland China (with over 40 destinations) and the rest of Asia. Despite a relatively short history, Hong Kong International Airport has won seven Skytrax World Airport Awards for customer satisfaction in just ten years.[1][2]

HKIA also operates one of the world's largest passenger terminal buildings and operates twenty-four hours a day. The airport is operated by the Airport Authority Hong Kong and is the primary hub for Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Hong Kong Express Airways, Hong Kong Airlines, Air Hong Kong (cargo) and Asia Jet (private). It is a secondary hub for Air New Zealand,[3] to a lesser extent Qantas and Virgin Atlantic, all of which use Hong Kong as a stopover point for flights on the Kangaroo Route between Australasia and Europe. United Airlines also uses Hong Kong as a stopover point for flights from the United States to Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City.

Flights are operated by roughly 90 airlines to over 150 cities across the globe, and in 2008 it was the 12th busiest airport worldwide in terms of passenger throughput, registering 47,857,746.[4] HKIA is also an important contributor to the Hong Kong economy, with 60,000 people employed at the airport.

In 2008, it was the second busiest airport in the world in terms of cargo traffic, handling 3,660,901 tons of cargo.[5]


Main airlines based at HKIA

Several airlines are based at Hong Kong International Airport:

  • Cathay Pacific is the flag carrier of Hong Kong. Cathay operates a mixed all-widebody fleet of Airbuses and Boeings, providing scheduled services to destinations in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania.
    • Dragonair (regional) operates narrow and widebody Airbus aircraft providing scheduled passenger services to the rest of Southeast Asia, Japan as well as Mainland China. It also operates freighter services to Mainland China.
    • Air Hong Kong Limited (cargo) operates scheduled all-cargo services between Hong Kong and destinations in Asia.
  • Hong Kong Airlines only operates scheduled passenger services to destinations within China and Vietnam.
    • Hong Kong Express operates a narrow-body fleet of Boeing 737-800s with scheduled services throughout Asia. Hong Kong Express also operates a helicopter service to the areas within the Pearl River Delta region.


View of the airport from the Ngong Ping 360 cable car

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 met delays, largely due to lack of space for aircraft, gates, and a second runway.[6] In addition, noise mitigation measures restricted nighttime flights, as severe noise pollution (exceeding 105 dB(A) in Kowloon City) was estimated to adversely affect at least 340,000 people.[7][8]

A 1974 planning study by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation and Public Works department 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. Construction of the new airport, however, did not begin until 1991. The construction period was very rushed in which specialists considered only a 10-20 year period was sufficient for the massive project. Another cause for this rush was due to the uncertain future of the airport construction after the transfer of sovereignty of 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. At last, the airport did not finish in time for the Handover. However, China gave an additional year's grace period to finish the project. It was finished just in time.[9][10]

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 km² 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.[11]

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.[12]

With one of the world's largest airport terminals, the ability to withstand an intense typhoon was a major concern. The sides of the terminals, predominantly glass, were designed to break during high speed winds, relieving pressure and allowing the terminal to remain standing.[9]

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. The architects were the world-famous Foster and Partners. 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.[9] 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.[13][14] 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)[15] However, after six months the airport started to operate normally.

Officially opened in June 2007, the second airport terminal, called T2, (check-in facility only) is linked with the Airport Express Line 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, are slated to begin operation in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Development around T2 also includes the AsiaWorld-Expo which has started operation in late 2005.[16]

A study for the HKIA Master Plan 2030 is underway to examine whether and how infrastructures at HKIA - including airport access, terminal and apron facilities and a new runway - should be developed to support the economic growth of Hong Kong and the region.


The airport has a total of 70 boarding gates,[17] with 63 jet bridge gates and seven virtual gates which are used as assembly points for passengers, who are then ferried to the aircraft by apron buses. Of the 63 jet bridges, five are capable of handling the Airbus A380.

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 of the HKIA is currently the third largest airport passenger terminal building in the world (570,000 m²), after Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 (1,500,000 m²) and Beijing Capital International Airport's Terminal 3 (986,000 m²[18]).

At its opening, Terminal 1 was the largest airport passenger terminal building, with a total gross floor area of 550,000 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 (the East Hall expansion included a 39,000 m² expansion to SkyMart, a shopping mall). Terminal 1's title as the world's largest was surrendered to Beijing's airport's Terminal 3 on 29 February 2008.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2, together with the Skyplaza, opened on 28 February 2007 along with the opening of the Airport Station's Platform 3.[19] 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.

Map showing airport location (in yellow) on the north shore of Lantau Island
View of the outside
Terminal 1 Departures Hall entrance
The interior of Terminal 1 at night-time
Terminal 1, Level 6
Level 5 - Arrivals Hall
A Biman DC-10 at the terminal

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo 1
AirAsia Kota Kinabalu [begins 1 June], Kuala Lumpur, Penang 2
Air Canada Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver 1
Air China Beijing-Capital, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Tianjin 1
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle 1
Air India Delhi, Mumbai, Osaka-Kansai 1
Air Mauritius Mauritius 1
Air New Zealand Auckland, London-Heathrow 1
Air Niugini Port Moresby 1
Air Pacific Nadi 1
All Nippon Airways Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita 1
Asiana Airlines Seoul-Incheon 1
Bangkok Airways Koh Samui 2
Biman Bangladesh Airlines Dhaka 1
British Airways London-Heathrow 1
Cathay Pacific Adelaide, Amsterdam, Auckland, Bahrain, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Brisbane, Cairns, Cebu, Chennai, Colombo, Delhi, Denpasar/Bali, Dubai, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Milan-Malpensa [begins 28 March], Mumbai, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Penang, Perth, Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino, San Francisco, Sapporo-Chitose, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Surabaya, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver 1
Cebu Pacific Cebu, Clark, Manila 1
China Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Jakarta, Kaohsiung, Taipei-Taoyuan 1
China Eastern Airlines Fuzhou, Hangzhou, Hefei, Jinan, Kunming, Nanchang, Nanjing, Ningbo, Qingdao [resumes 28 March], Shanghai-Pudong, Shijiazhuang, Taiyuan, Wenzhou, Wuxi, Xi'an 1
China Southern Airlines Beijing-Capital, Changchun, Changsha, Guangzhou, Guilin, Haikou, Harbin, Meixian, Nanning, Sanya, Shantou, Shenyang, Ürümqi, Wuhan, Xiamen, Yinchuan, Yiwu, Zhengzhou 1
Continental Airlines Newark 1
Continental Airlines operated by Continental Micronesia Guam [resumes 2 April][20] 1
Delta Air Lines Detroit [begins 4 June],[21] Tokyo-Narita 1
Dragonair Bangalore, Beijing-Capital, Busan, Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dhaka, Fuzhou, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Kaohsiung, Kathmandu, Kota Kinabalu, Kunming, Manila, Nanjing, Ningbo, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Qingdao, Sanya, Shanghai-Pudong, Taipei-Taoyuan, Wuhan, Xiamen 1
Eastar Jet Cheongju 2
El Al Tel Aviv 1
Emirates Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Dubai 1
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi 1
EVA Air Taipei-Taoyuan 1
Finnair Helsinki 1
Garuda Indonesia Denpasar/Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya 1
Hong Kong Airlines Changsha, Guilin, Guiyang, Haikou, Hanoi, Kunming, Moscow-Sheremetyevo [begins 28 June], Nanning, Sanya, Xiamen 2
Hong Kong Express Airways Beijing-Capital, Chengdu, Chongquing, Denpasar/Bali, Hakodate, Hangzhou, Harbin, Manila, Ningbo, Okinawa, Sapporo-Chitose, Shanghai-Pudong 2
Japan Airlines Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita 1
Jet Airways Delhi, Mumbai 2
Jetstar Asia Airways Singapore 2
Kenya Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Nairobi 1
Kingfisher Airlines Delhi [begins 7 April], Mumbai 2
KLM Amsterdam 1
Korean Air Busan, Seoul-Incheon 1
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich 1
Malaysia Airlines Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching 1
Mandarin Airlines Kaohsiung, Taichung 1
Nepal Airlines Kathmandu 1
Orient Thai Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi 1
Pakistan International Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Islamabad, Lahore 1
Philippine Airlines Manila 2
Qantas Brisbane, London-Heathrow, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney 1
Qatar Airways Doha 1
Royal Brunei Airlines Bandar Seri Begawan 1
Royal Jordanian Amman, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi 2
Saudi Arabian Airlines Jeddah, Riyadh[note 1] 1
Shanghai Airlines Shanghai-Pudong 1
Shenzhen Airlines Jinjiang 2
Sichuan Airlines Chengdu, Chongqing, Yichang 1
Singapore Airlines San Francisco, Singapore 1
South African Airways Johannesburg 2
SriLankan Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Colombo 1
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich 1
Thai AirAsia Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Phuket 2
Thai Airways International Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Phuket, Seoul-Incheon, Taipei-Taoyuan [ends 28 March] 2
Tiger Airways Singapore 2
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk 1
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Ho Chi Minh City, San Francisco, Singapore 1
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City 1
Virgin Atlantic Airways London-Heathrow, Sydney 1
Xiamen Airlines Fuzhou, Wuyishan, Xiamen 1
  1. ^ Although some of Saudi Arabian Airlines's flights to Saudi Arabia stop in Manila, it has no rights to transport passengers between Hong Kong and Manila.
Cities with direct air connectivity to Hong Kong

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
ACT Airlines Cebu, Dhaka, Lahore, Port Moresby, Taipei-Taoyuan
Aeroflot-Cargo Almaty, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Khabarovsk, Novosibirsk
Aerologic Leipzig-Halle
AirBridgeCargo Airlines Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Krasnojarsk, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, St Petersburg
Air Cargo Germany Hahn, Karaganda
Air China Cargo Beijing-Capital, Tianjin
Air France Cargo Bahrain, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Zaragoza
Air Hong Kong Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Manila, Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Penang, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita
ANA Cargo Nagoya-Centrair, Okinawa, Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita
Asiana Cargo Seoul-Incheon
Atlas Air Adana Incirlik, Ault Field, Chicago-O'Hare, Fairfield, Kagoshima, Kuwait, Melbourne, Miami, New York-JFK, Osaka-Kansai, Sapporo-Chitose, Seoul-Incheon, Sydney
British Airways World Cargo Chennai, Cologne/Bonn, Delhi, London-Stansted, Mumbai, Munich
Cardig Air Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Singapore[22]
Cargolux Almaty, Abu Dhabi, Baku, Barcelona, Budapest, Dammam, Doha, Helsinki, Karaganda, Komatsu, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Melbourne
Cargolux Italia Dubai, Milan-Malpensa
Cargoitalia Almaty, Milan-Malpensa
Cathay Pacific Cargo Amsterdam, Anchorage, Atlanta, Brussels, Chennai, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Delhi, Dhaka, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hanoi, Houston-Intercontinental, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manchester, Melbourne, Miami, Milan-Malpensa, Mumbai, Munich, New York-JFK, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Penang, San Francisco, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore, Stockholm-Arlanda, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Toronto-Pearson, Tokyo-Narita, Vancouver
China Cargo Airlines Qingdao, Shanghai-Pudong
China Airlines Cargo Taipei-Taoyuan
Czech Airlines Cargo Dubai, Prague
Deccan 360 Mumbai
Donghai Airlines Chengdu, Shenzhen
Dragonair Cargo Chengdu, Manchester, Osaka-Kansai, Shanghai-Pudong, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tehran-Mehrabad, Xiamen
El Al Cargo Almaty, Seoul-Incheon, Tel Aviv
Emirates SkyCargo Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Chennai, Dubai
EVA Air Cargo Taipei-Taoyuan
Evergreen International Airlines Bagram, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK
FedEx Express Almaty, Anchorage, Chicago-O'Hare, Cologne/Bonn, Delhi, Indianapolis, London-Stansted, Memphis, New York-JFK, Newark, Oakland, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Seoul-Incheon, San Francisco, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita
Grandstar Cargo Tianjin
JAL Cargo Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita
Jade Cargo International Vienna
Jett8 Airlines Cargo Singapore
Kalitta Air Abu Dhabi, Anchorage, Bahrain, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Chicago-O'Hare, Columbus, Dubai, Frankfurt, Guam, Honolulu, Khabarovsk, New York-JFK
KLM Cargo Almaty, Amsterdam
Korean Air Cargo Seoul-Incheon
Lufthansa Cargo Almaty, Bahrain, Chennai, Frankfurt, Hanoi, Leipzig/Halle, Sharjah, Tashkent
Mandarin Airlines Kaohsiung
MASkargo Kuala Lumpur, Penang
Martinair Cargo Amsterdam, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Sharjah
MK Airlines Karaganda
Nippon Cargo Airlines Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita
Orient Thai Cargo Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi
Philippine Airlines Cargo Manila
Polar Air Cargo Anchorage, Chicago-O'Hare, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, Seoul-Incheon, Wilmington
Qantas Freight Geelong, Sydney
Saudi Arabian Airlines Cargo Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Dammam, Jeddah, Lahore, Riyadh
Shanghai Airlines Cargo Shanghai-Pudong
Singapore Airlines Cargo Amsterdam, Anchorage, Atlanta, Chennai, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Don Miguel, Los Angeles, Sharjah, Singapore, Sydney
Southern Air Anchorage, Chicago-O'Hare, Maastricht, Sharjah, Seoul-Incheon
Star Airlines Almaty, Bishkek, Skopje, Sharjah
Thai Global Airline Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi
TNT Airways Liège
Transmile Air Services Anchorage, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Riverside, Subang
Tri-MG Intra Asia Airlines Cebu, Clark
ULS Cargo Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Manila, Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Kansai, Penang, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tokyo-Narita
UPS Airlines Anchorage, Clark, Cologne/Bonn, Dubai, Honolulu, Louisville, Mumbai, Ontario, Osaka-Kansai, Philadelphia, Sapporo-Chitose, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Wilmington
World Airways Anchorage, Seoul-Incheon
Yangtze River Express Hangzhou, Qingdao
Hong Kong Airlines Hangzhou,Ho Chi Minh City


The airport control tower and a taxiing Airbus aircraft
Operations and Statistics
Passenger movements
1998 28,631,000 2004 37,142,000
1999 30,394,000 2005 40,740,000
2000 33,374,000 2006 44,443,000
2001 33,065,000 2007 47,783,000
2002 34,313,000 2008 48,582,000
2003 27,433,000
Airfreight movements in tonnes
1998 1,628,700 2004 3,093,900
1999 1,974,300 2005 3,402,000
2000 2,240,600 2006 3,580,000
2001 2,074,300 2007 3,742,000
2002 1,637,797 2008 3,627,000
2003 2,642,100
Aircraft movements
1998 163,200 2004 237,300
1999 167,400 2005 263,500
2000 181,900 2006 280,000
2001 196,800 2007 295,580
2002 206,700 2008 301,000
2003 187,500
Passenger (current) 45,000,000
Passenger (ultimate) 87,000,000
Cargo (current) 3m tonnes
Cargo (ultimate) 9m tonnes
Apron (current) 96
Number of destinations
International (air) 154
International (water) 6

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.

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. 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 2008, and the world's second busiest airport for cargo traffic in 2008. 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 85 international airlines providing about 800 scheduled passenger and all-cargo flights each day between Hong Kong and some 150 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.[23]

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.

The airport's long term expansion opportunities are subject to variables. A 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 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 cooperating 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.

Air traffic

Recreational flying in Hong Kong is catered for by the Hong Kong Aviation Club, which undertakes flying training for private pilots and provides facilities for private owners.

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

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

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. Asia Jet also utilises this facility.

Intermodal transportation hub

In order 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.[24]

The Coach Station was relocated to 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.[25]

HKIA’s network to China is also 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.

Baggage Claim Area

Baggage and cargo facilities

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 currently handles well over three million tonnes of cargo annually.[26] 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,[27] 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 Mar 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 currently has a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes a year.[28] It is envisaged that HKIA’s total air cargo capacity per annum will reach nine million tonnes ultimately.[29]

Aircraft maintenance services

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 B747-400 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 airplane, so that the whole facility can fully enclose four 747s when the mobile hangar is used. A new two-bay hangar that locates next to the current one will be in operation by the end of 2006.

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.[30]

Airport based ground services

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.

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

Airport Express - Airport Station

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.


Citybus, New Lantao Bus, Long Win Bus and Discovery Bay Bus 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.[31]

Passengers can also take the S1 Citybus[32] to the Tung Chung MTR Station. From there they can board the MTR Tung Chung Line which follows the same route to Central. Coach service is available to major cities and towns in Guangdong, such as Shenzhen, Dongguan and Guangzhou.


Direct ferry services are available from the airport to various destinations throughout the Pearl River Delta. 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, 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.[33][34]


The airport can be reached by the Airport Express, a dedicated rail link provided by the MTR. It takes 24 minutes to reach the airport from Hong Kong station, thus awarding it the fastest mode of transport to get to the airport.[35] It offers local MTR line connections along the line. In addition, both Hong Kong and Kowloon stations provide complimentary and exclusive in-town check-in services for major airlines.

Passengers may also consider take the one-minute journey to AsiaWorld-Expo, which is also located in Chek Lap Kok. This segment of the Airport Express started operations on 20 December 2005 to facilitate the opening of the expo.

In the latest policy address by Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, the chief executive of the Special Administrative Region, the government is also studying the feasibility of building a railway connecting between Hong Kong International Airport and Shenzhen Bao'an International Airport to provide further convenience to business and leisure travellers.[36]


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

  • Urban taxis connect the Airport with Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and parts of the new towns of Tsuen Wan, Sha Tin and Tseung Kwan O (urban taxis can go anywhere in Hong Kong except southern Lantau Island).
  • New Territories taxis connect the airport with the New Territories, except those parts of the Tsuen Wan, Sha Tin and Tseung Kwan O served by urban taxis.
  • Lantau taxis connect the airport with the rest of Lantau Island.

Accidents and incidents

  • On 31 July 2000 a man, armed with a pistol, forced his way through a security checkpoint and held a woman hostage on a Cathay Pacific aircraft. The man surrendered after two and a half hours [3]PDF (1.92 MB).
  • On 8 July 2008, Air China Flight 103, a Boeing 737-300 from Tianjin bumped into an engineering vehicle after landing. There were no injuries; however, the wing of the aircraft was slightly damaged after the collision.[37]
  • On 13 January 2010, a Hong Kong Airlines Boeing 737 almost strayed into the path of a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 on takeoff roll. The Cathay plane aborted takeoff.[38] No one was injured, and the planes didn't make contact. The incident was the fault of the Hong Kong Airlines's plane's pilots.

In media

  • Hong Kong International Airport was featured in the episode "Hong Kong Airport" from Richard Hammond's Engineering Connections. In the episode, Hammond mostly talks about how the airport is able to withstand typhoons.


  • AETRA Best Airport Worldwide (2005)
  • Air Cargo News Cargo Airport of the Year (2002-2003)
  • Air Cargo World Air Cargo Excellence (2007)
  • Air Transport Research Society Asia Pacific Airport Efficiency Excellence Award (2007)
  • Airports Council International World's Best Airport (2007-2008)
  • Asiaweek Asia's Best Airport (2000)
  • British Constructional Steelwork Association, the Steel Construction Institute and British Steel Structural Steel Design Award (1999)
  • Business Traveller Best Airport in China (2006-2007)
  • Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation CAPA International Airport of the Year (2007)
  • Conde Nast Traveller World's Best Airport (2007)
  • Construction Industry Manufacturers Association CONEXPO-CON/AGG '99 Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century - Airport Core Programme (1999)
  • Federation of Asia Pacific Aircargo Associations Most Friendly Airport for Cargo (2005)
  • Hong Kong Institute of Architects Silver Medal for Architecture (1999)
  • Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants Diamond - Best Corporate Governance Disclosure Awards (2004)
  • International Air Transport Association (IATA) Eagle Award (2002)
  • Raven Fox Award for Travel-Retail Excellence in Asia / Pacific (1999-2000)
  • Skytrax World's Best Airport (2001-2005, 2007-2008)
  • SmartTravelAsia.com Best Airport Worldwide (2006-2007)
  • TravelWeekly Best International Airport (2007)
  • TravelWeeklyChina Best Airport Facilities (2006)
  • TTG Best Airport (2002, 2004-2008; Survey was not held in 2003 owing to SARS)
  • WTA World Travel Awards Asia/ Pacific's Leading Airport (2000)

See also


  1. ^ "Airport Star Ranking - 5 Star Airports". Skytrax. 2007. http://www.airlinequality.com/AirportRanking/5-Star.htm. 
  2. ^ Skytrax (2008-07-14). "International travellers have voted Hong Kong Best Airport in the World ..". Press release. http://www.worldairportawards.com/Awards_2008/Airport2008.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  3. ^ http://www.starallianceemployees.com/fileadmin/data/NetworkOnline/2009/12/pdf/NW_online_december_09_opti_1.pdf
  4. ^ Airports Council International (2009-07-28). "Passenger Traffic 2008 FINAL". Airports Council International. http://www.aci.aero/cda/aci_common/display/main/aci_content07_c.jsp?zn=aci&cp=1-5-54-55_666_2__. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  5. ^ Airports Council International (2009-07-28). "Cargo Traffic 2008 FINAL". Airports Council International. http://www.aci.aero/cda/aci_common/display/main/aci_content07_c.jsp?zn=aci&cp=1-5-54-4819_666_2__. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  6. ^ Genzberger, Christine (1994). Hong Kong Business: The Portable Encyclopedia for Doing Business with Hong Kong. World Trade Press. p. 239. ISBN 9780963186478. http://books.google.com/books?id=jzTkeovg_-MC&pg=PA239. 
  7. ^ Hong Kong Advisory Council on the Environment (1995-07) (PDF). Proposal to Optimise Kai Tak Capacity. http://www.epd.gov.hk/epd/textonly/english/boards/advisory_council/files/ace_paper9531.pdf. Retrieved 2006-06-13. 
  8. ^ Dempsey, Paul (1999). Airport Planning and Development Handbook: A Global Survey. McGraw-Hill Professional. p. 106. ISBN 9780071343169. http://books.google.com/books?id=DLi4-CEGl4YC&pg=PA106. 
  9. ^ a b c "Building Hong Kong's Airport". Extreme Engineering. 2003-05-14. No. 7, season 1.
  10. ^ Rikkie Yeung (2008). Moving Millions: The Commercial Success and Political Controversies of Hong Kong's Railways. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 9789622099630. 
  11. ^ Plant, G.W.; Covil, C.S; Hughes, R.A.; Airport Authority Hong Kong (1998). Site Preparation for the New Hong Kong International Airport. Thomas Telford. pp. 1, 3-4, 43, 556. ISBN 9780727726964. http://books.google.com/books?id=NVlGrr9WOp4C&printsec=frontcover. 
  12. ^ CONEXPO-CON/AGG '99 (1999). Top 10 Construction Achievements of the 20th Century. ISBN 0-9530219-5-5. Retrieved 10 November 2005.
  13. ^ Gordon, Alastair (September 2004). Naked Airport. Metropolitan Books. ISBN 0805065180. 
  14. ^ New York Times (1998-07-09). "INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS; Problems Continue to Mount at New Hong Kong Airport". http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E00E4D91F3EF93AA35754C0A96E958260. 
  15. ^ "Calendar of Events". Hong Kong Yearbook. 1998. http://www.yearbook.gov.hk/1998/ewww/events/index07.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  16. ^ Hong Kong International Airport - About AA - SkyCity Brochure
  17. ^ Hong Kong International Airport - Interactive Map
  18. ^ The 'dragon' unveiled: Beijing's T3 starts operations - The Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
  19. ^ Press release of platform 3 opening
  20. ^ Saipan Tribune
  21. ^ Bolstered by Growing Global Alliances, Delta Strengthens International Schedules for Summer 2010 - Oct 20, 2009
  22. ^ [1]
  23. ^ Airport Authority Hong Kong. "Our Business - The Airport - Welcome to HKIA - Hong Kong International Airport". http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/business/about-the-airport/welcome.html. 
  24. ^ Transport to Guangdong
  25. ^ Our Business - The Airport - Welcome to HKIA - Hong Kong International Airport
  26. ^ Air Cargo - HKIA
  27. ^ SuperTerminal 1
  28. ^ Asia Airfreight Terminal - Our Terminal
  29. ^ Hong Kong: The Facts - Civil Aviation
  30. ^ CASL Hangar Grand Opening Ceremony Press Release
  31. ^ "Public Buses". Airport Authority Hong Kong. 2009. http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/transport/to-from-airport/bus.html. Retrieved 2009-03-26.  Note that I have included Discovery Bay services as per the schedule at [2]
  32. ^ "S1 Bus". Chow Tai Fook Enterprises. 2009. http://www.nwstbus.com.hk/routes/routeinfo.aspx?intLangID=1&route=S1&routetype=D&company=5. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  33. ^ New HK-Zhuhai ferry service starts
  34. ^ New Ferry Service between HKIA and Nansha Port Commences
  35. ^ Hong Kong Airport Transportation Information
  36. ^ Infrastructure projects boost economy
  37. ^ "Plane runs into engineering vehicle in Hong Kong, no casualty reported". Xinhua News Corp. 2008-07-08. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-07/08/content_8510176.htm. Retrieved 2008-07-08. 
  38. ^ "Cathay jet in take-off scare at Chek Lap Kok". SCMP. 2010-01-13. http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.2c913216495213d5df646910cba0a0a0/?vgnextoid=481b9d9df9076210VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCRD&vgnextfmt=teaser&ss=Hong+Kong&s=News. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 

External links

Simple English

Hong Kong International Airport, also known as Chek Lap Kok Airport is the airport of Hong Kong that was built at Chek Lap Kok on Lantau Island. It opened in 1997. It is one of the leading airports in the world, and has won "World Airport of the Year" from Skytrax for 7 times in 10 years. It is the hub for Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines and Hong Kong Express. It is the third busiest airport in terms of passengers in Asia, and second busiest in the world in terms of cargo traffic.

The airport has a highly advanced highway and railway system linking it to the city of Hong Kong. The building project was one of the biggest scale in the world, and featured in Discovery Channel's "Ten Greatest Modern Projects of the World". It was designed by the famous architect, Norman Foster. The aim of the airport was to increase traffic and capacity which the old Kai Tak Airport could not handle. It remains one of the best airport in the world, along with Singapore Changi Airport and Seoul Incheon Airport.

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