The expansion of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) reached a major milestone this week, with the completion of construction work on the new Midfield Concourse.
A topping-out ceremony was held to mark the occasion, with Hong Kong’s Airport Authority (AA) saying that the Midfield Development project is on track to be completed by the end of 2015.
Located to the west of Terminal 1, between HKIA’s two existing runways, the 105,000m², five-level Midfield Concourse is a core part of HKIA’s Midfield Development project. The concourse will be equipped with 20 new aircraft parking stands, and passengers will be able to access it from T1 via an “automated people mover”. Work on the HK$10 billion (US$1.3bn) development commenced in 2011.
The new Midfield Concourse is also being built according to an environmentally friendly design, with low-energy lighting systems, high-performance glazing panels, solar shading and north-facing skylights.
“The midfield expansion will come just in time to help HKIA meet its faster-than-expected traffic growth. Last year we saw another record-breaking year for passenger volume and flight movements. With the completion of the new passenger concourse, HKIA will be able to serve an additional 10 million passengers a year,” said AA chairman, Vincent Lo.
The midfield project forms part of a broader plan for the long-term expansion of HKIA, including the development of a third runway on reclaimed land. The airport recently received permission to proceed with this project, following an environmental impact assessment.
“The midfield development shows that we are making immense efforts to cater to HKIA’s intermediate air traffic demand. But our two-runway system is close to reaching its maximum capacity, so the airport’s long-term solution rests with expanding into a three-runway system (3RS),” said Lo.
“We will proceed with completing the other necessary statutory requirements for the 3RS in the coming months, with a target of having it fully operational in 2023.”
In the first half of its 2014-15 financial year, HKIA handled a total of 32.1m passengers, 2.19m tonnes of cargo and 196,000 flight movements, representing year-on-year growth of 5.5%, 7.4% and 4.8% respectively.