Hong Kong International Airport
The World Airport Awards are based on survey results from 11.38 million questionnaires completed by over 100 different nationalities of airline passengers in more than 240 airports worldwide. The survey was conducted in 2010-2011 and evaluates traveller experiences across 39 different airport service and product factors – from check-in, arrivals, transfer through to departure at the gate. And the winners are…
Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA)
Located less than five flying hours from half of the world’s population HKIA is the third busiest International passenger airport in the world. In 2010, some 50.9 million passengers on about 900 daily flights, on over 95 airlines, travelled through, connecting to approximately 160 destinations.
Hong Kong International airport opened for commercial operations in 1998. It 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 eight Skytrax World Airport Awards for customer satisfaction in just eleven years. HKIA ranked second and third in 2009 and 2010 respectively for the Skytrax World Airport Awards, and remains as the best airport taking into account passenger numbers annually, and has also won the Skytrax World Airport of the Year 2011.
Largest Passenger Terminal Buildings and Gateway to Asia
Hong Kong International Airport is also one of the world’s largest passenger terminal buildings (the world’s largest when opened in 1998). 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 and Air Hong Kong (cargo). It is a focus city for Air New Zealand, and to a lesser extent Qantas and Virgin Atlantic, both of which use Hong Kong as a stopover point for flights on the Kangaroo Route between Australasia and Europe. Both United Airlines and Air India use Hong Kong as a stopover point for flights respectively from the United States to Singapore and Ho Chi Minh City as well as from India to Osaka and Seoul. In the near future, Garuda Indonesia is considering making Hong Kong their transit hub for flights to Europe while Swiss International Air Lines considers Hong Kong to be a major transfer hub for its network. This shows that Hong Kong International Airport is a key Asian airport for global airline operations.
Flights are operated by roughly 90 airlines to over 150 cities across the globe, and in 2009 it was the 13th busiest airport worldwide in terms of passenger throughput, registering 45,560,888. HKIA is also an important contributor to the Hong Kong economy, with 60,000 people employed at the airport.
The Second Busiest Cargo Airport in the World
In 2009, it was the second busiest airport in the world in terms of cargo traffic, handling 3,384,765 tons of cargo. In 2010, HKIA became the busiest airport by cargo traffic in the world, ahead of Memphis Airport in USA, along with Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific holding the title of the world’s largest international cargo airline.
Hong Kong International Airport buildings
Hong Kong International airport has a total of 70 boarding gates, 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. Singapore Airlines and Emirates currently deploy A380s to Hong Kong and use those gates.
Terminal 1 of the HKIA is currently the third largest airport passenger terminal building in the world (570,000m²), after Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 (1,500,000m²) and Beijing Capital International Airport’s Terminal 3 (986,000m²).
Terminal 2 (140,000m²) was opened on 28 February 2007 along with the opening of the Hong Kong International Airport Station’s Platform 3. 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 Skidmore, Owings and Merrill designed Terminal 2 and the SkyPlaza.
North Satellite Concourse
The two-storey North Satellite Concourse was opened in December 2009. This concourse was designed for narrow-body aircraft and is equipped with 10 jet bridges. The concourse has a floor area of 200,000m² and will be able to serve more than 5 million passengers annually. There is a shuttle bus service between the NSC and Terminal 1 every four minutes.
Due to commence construction in the third quarter of 2011 and finished by the end of 2015, a new ‘midfield concourse’ will be built between the two runways. 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.
Hong Kong International airport has two parallel runways, both of which are 3800m in length and 60m wide, enabling them to cater to the next generation of aircraft. The two runways have an ultimate capacity of over 60 aircraft movements an hour. Hong Kong International airport is upgrading ATC and runways so that they can handle 68 movements per hour.
Top Position in the World
The ratings for HKIA show some considerable improvements during the last year, particularly in security and immigration processing that served to enhance customer satisfaction levels.
Fast and easy access to downtown Hong Kong, combined with the bright and airy terminal ambiance, superb shopping facilities to place HKIA in top position. As the winner of Best Airport Dining Award, the food and beverage outlets clearly played their part in this year’s success for HKIA.