Third Runway a Step Closer

The project to construct a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport has moved a step closer following governmental approval of the Chek Lap Kok Outline Zoning Plan.  Authorisation has also given for the start of the land reclamation, a key part of the facility’s expansion programme.  The green light means that the Hong Kong Airport Authority can now complete the detailed design for the Three-Runway System (3RS) and award major construction contracts.

The Authority says the development of 3RS comprises of seven key stages:

  • Reclamation the transformation of nearly 1,606 acres (650ha) of the South China Sea into usable land north of the existing airport island.
  • Laying a 12,470ft (3,800m) runway and associated taxiway systems. The current northern strip (07L/25R) will also be reconfigured and become the centre runway.
  • Building the remote Third Runway Concourse (TRC) with more than 3 million sq ft (280,000m²) of floor area. This will include 57 aircraft stands – 34 contact gates and 23 remote parking positions.  Additional land will be available for expansion at a later date.
  • Installation of 8,530ft (2,600m) long automated people mover system to connect Terminal 2 with the new concourse. It will have a capacity of carrying 10,800 people per hour.
  • Extension of the baggage handling systems to link Terminal 2 with the new airside building. It will be able to transport the first bag to the luggage reclaim area within 20 minutes of a flight arriving, and the last within 40 minutes.
  • Expansion of Terminal 2 into a full-service processing facility, and construction of an improved road network.
  • Reconfiguration of associated airport support infrastructure and utilities to support the 3RS.

The complete programme of work is scheduled to take eight years to complete, with the land reclamation phase taking approximately four.  The next phase will involve the building of the third runway, after which the existing northern strip will be closed for reconfiguration, including extension and the building of wrap-around taxiways at both ends to enable aircraft to access the new facilities without interrupting activity on the existing complex.  Concurrent with the development Terminal 2 will be extended to incorporate additional check-in counters and a new arrivals hall to serve passengers using the new TRC.

The project is currently budgeted to cost HK$141bn (£12.3bn) and will be financed through a combination of loans and bonds, operational surpluses, and a construction fee levied on departing passengers.  The airport’s expansion is expected to bring HK$455bn (£40bn) in economic benefits to the region and directly create 123,000 jobs.

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