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    What to know about the expansion plans for Hong Kong International Airport
    A third runway and better links to the Greater Bay Area will enable HKIA to handle 30 million more passengers a year by 2030
    Hong Kong International Airport Skycity expansion plan

    Since opening in 1998, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA ) has been recognised by flyers and industry experts as one of the best airports in the world. It’s located within five hours of more than half of the world’s population, and is itself located in the biggest developing air market in the world.

    In pre-pandemic times, the airport was close to capacity and handled 72 million passengers a year and it remains the biggest international air cargo hub in the world. But projected growth in aviation will see passenger numbers increase to around 100 million by 2030. So there has been a clear case for Hong Kong airport expansion.

    The expansion to HKIA under construction. Credit: Moses Ng

    Credit: Moses Ng

    What that means is the addition of a third runway, reclaimed from the sea. There will be a new infield terminal to serve more departure gates – 57 more, to be precise, which will be linked by an automated people mover to a newly developed Terminal Two, which is now closed for that redevelopment. On opening, for the first time passengers will be able to check-in and go airside without crossing over to Terminal One. Terminal Two will also be located in a new entertainment and retail development called Skycity .

    A Cathay Pacific plane takes off from HKIA. Credit: Hong Kong International Airport

    Credit: Hong Kong International Airport

    To compensate for the temporary annexation of Terminal Two, two additional check-in aisles in Terminal One were built to handle additional passengers during the construction phase. The Hong Kong airport expansion is also positive for our regional passengers. The new Sky Bridge links the remote terminal (North Satellite Concourse) which handled many of our short-haul services from Terminal One. This will eliminate the hassle of coach transfers, as well as offering a fantastic view over the airfield and the new third runway.

    While the third runway was completed in July 2022, true three runway operations will not start until 2024. The existing north runway (the closest to the sea, but now the central runway) will be resurfaced, and it will need new taxiways to connect it to the new runway and terminal building.

    Long story short: by 2024, HKIA will be as speedy as ever to use – and for even more travellers.

    This story was originally written in May 2020 and updated in August 2022. Hero image: Hong Kong International Airport

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