Expanding Capacity and Functionality

Owing to the international trade dispute and social unrest in 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, passenger numbers and aircraft movements declined to 60.9 million and 377 thousand respectively. HKIA remained the world’s busiest cargo airport for the 10th consecutive year despite cargo and airmail throughput decreasing to 4.7 million tonnes.

While the outlook is unclear, we remain focused on our long-term vision to transform HKIA into an Airport City, with significant progress achieved across various key component projects. The Third Runway is on track to be put into operation in 2022 with the Three-Runway System (3RS) commissioned in 2024. Construction of the first hotel at SKYCITY will soon be completed and is scheduled to open in 2021. Additionally, AsiaWorld-Expo and the development of the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF) are other core components of the Airport City that will increase the airport’s overall capacity and expand its functionality.

Key enhancement and development projects

Midfield Apron Development

The remaining phase of the Midfield Apron Development with additional parking stands will be completed by the end of 2020.

Terminal 1 (T1) Enhancement

AAHK is investing HK$7 billion into a series of major enhancement projects to increase handling capacity, reduce travelling time within the terminal and provide a vibrant, fresh look and feel. The T1 Extension, which includes new check-in counters and additional baggage reclaim belts, commenced operations in November 2019. Other enhancement initiatives, including the revamping of boarding gates and the renovation of HKIA’s washrooms, are under way.

Sky Bridge

Linking T1 and the North Satellite Concourse, the Sky Bridge is near the completion stage of construction and expected to open in 2021.

Developing the 3RS

The 3RS project has made significant progress during the year. Details are available at our 3RS website. Major achievements in 2019/20 include:

Project Implementation

Land formation

  • More than 96% of the marine-based deep cement mixing was completed.

  • More than 11.5 kilometres of seawall areas were handed over to the main reclamation contractor.

  • Nearly 10.8 kilometres of seawall rock core and vertical seawall blocks above sea level were completed.

  • Some 71 hectares of reclaimed land was handed over to the follow-on contractor for the construction of airfield infrastructure and facilities, and the foundation and substructure of the Third Runway Passenger Building, in additional to the establishment of construction support facilities.

Buildings and infrastructure works

  • Terminal 2 was closed in November 2019 as planned for reconfiguration and expansion.

  • Construction for the foundation and substructure of the Third Runway Passenger Building commenced in February 2020.

  • Construction of the airfield infrastructure and facilities for the Third Runway and associated works continued.

  • The occupation permit for the new Automated People Mover (APM) depot was obtained in December 2019.

  • Design-and-build contracts for the APM system and baggage handling system are under way.

Environment-related issues

  • A comprehensive environmental monitoring and audit programme continued, in accordance with the requirements set out in the 3RS Environmental Impact Assessment Report and Environmental Permit on a dedicated website.

  • The Terminal 2 expansion received a BEAM Plus Provisional Platinum rating.

  • The Third Runway and associated works obtained an ‘Excellent’ rating under the Interim Client and Design Award scheme of the Civil Engineering Environmental Quality Assessment and Awards Scheme (CEEQUAL).

  • Information on 3RS-related marine ecology and fisheries enhancement initiatives is available in the Greenest Airport section.

Stakeholder engagement

  • Since 2012, AAHK holds regular briefings, seminars and airport tours to engage the wider community on the latest airport developments.

Community Liaison Groups

  • Islands, Kwai Tsing, Shatin, Tsuen Wan and Tuen Mun districts

  • 130 members including district councillors and community leaders (as of July 2019)

  • Two rounds of meetings were held in 2019/20 covering the latest progress of the 3RS project and related environmental issues

Professional Liaison Group

  • 19 experts in different environmental fields (as of March 2020)

  • Facilitate communications and enquiries on all environmental issues related to the 3RS

  • Two meetings were conducted in 2019/20 covering the latest progress of the 3RS project and the Marine Ecology and Fisheries Enhancement Strategy


As an integral part of the Airport City, SKYCITY is an integrated commercial development comprising hotels, offices,and retail, dining and entertainment (RDE) facilities connected to Terminal 2. The firsthotel is expected to open in 2021 and other facilities are scheduled to open in phases commencing 2022.

SKYCITY at a glance

Hotel Development

RDE Development

Site information

Total Permissible GFA: 33,700 m2;
Rooms: ~1,200

Maximum GFA: 350,000 m2

Contract award date

February 2017

May 2018


Regal Hotels Group

Roxy Limited, a wholly owned
subsidiary of New World
Development Company Limited

Target completion date


In phases commencing 2022

AsiaWorld Expo (AWE)

AWE is a world-class exhibition, convention, concert, sports and entertainment venue. Following the acquisition of the operator of AWE in 2018/19, AAHK is planning the phase two development of AWE to create new synergies with SKYCITY and other airport facilities.

Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities (HKBCF)

HKBCF is a 150-hectare artificial island east of the airport island providing clearance facilities for passengers and vehicles using the HZBM. New land use opportunities identified at the HKBCF are enabling additional airport-related developments. AAHK is studying the development concept in response to an invitation from the Hong Kong SAR Government, and anticipates completing it by the end of 2020.

Case Study: Sky Bridge – Building the world’s longest airside bridge

Q&A with S. S. Kong, General Manager, Capital Works Construction

What is Sky Bridge and what is the significance of it?

Sky Bridge is a 200-metre long weatherproof footbridge connecting Terminal 1 (T1) and the North Satellite Concourse (NSC) to replace the current bus link on the apron. The Sky Bridge, which is anticipated to be the world’s longest airside bridge, is tall enough for the largest passenger aircraft, the Airbus A380, to taxi underneath. It is estimated that 100,000 shuttle bus trips could be reduced per year, meaning a great reduction of apron road traffic.

What were the benefits of prefabricating the bridge offsite prior to its assembly at HKIA?

As the Sky Bridge spans across a taxiway between T1 and the NSC, we were vigilant about the impact that may have from the construction of the bridge on HKIA, one of the busiest airports in the region. By moving much of the construction work offsite, we would be able to minimise the impact on the airport’s operations. Hence, we prefabricated and preassembled the main structure of the Sky Bridge in Huizhou and Zhongshan in three segments which were separately transported by sea to HKIA. For assembly, they were put together at the assembly yard in the midfield area of HKIA to form the entire length of the bridge. By performing the prefabrication and assembly away from the bridge’s final position, we succeeded in reducing the closure of the taxiway to nine days from what would have been a lengthier closure.

What were the major challenges when the main structure of the bridge was transported to its final position?

With the assembled main structure of the bridge and temporary support frames weighing over 6,000 tonnes and the bridge deck being over 20m above ground, it was a huge challenge for the team to deliver it from Zhongshan to its final position. The whole route on sea and land was planned with due consideration of wind effect, tidal movement, airport height restrictions, marine stability and the bearing capacity of ground. On 9 January 2020, the main structure, sitting on specialised mega frames, was towed by means of self-propelled modular transporters over 3km from the assembly yard to the final position for lifting and connection works. The structure was carefully and accurately raised above the bridge towers before connecting it to the two towers at its final position. I am most pleased by the project team’s great skill and technique in delivering the large structure by sea and land, while maintaining smooth operations of HKIA.

What improvements to the airport experience can be expected when Sky Bridge commences operation?

First, the travel time between T1 and the NSC could be shortened. Passengers need not shuttle between the two buildings by buses. Instead, they will be able to move between T1 and the NSC by walking or using a travelator, regardless of the weather, in about five to 10 minutes after the commissioning of Sky Bridge. Moreover, Sky Bridge will offer a number of attractions, including an observation deck, restaurants and a glass-bottom floor that allows passengers to watch aircraft movement underneath the bridge. I believe the Sky Bridge will provide a more comfortable environment and pleasant travel experience for passengers at HKIA.