Hong Kong Airport plans for new midfield concourse

Check this out, my second most favourite airport in Asia, Hong Kong Airport (you can see my most recent video review of the magnificent airport here) has unveiled plans for an extension: Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) unveiled phase 1 of its midfield development project. The 73,000m² project includes the building of a new midfield concourse with 20 aircraft parking stands, a new cross-field taxiway and the extension of the existing automated people mover (APM) to the midfield concourse. Construction for the phase one development will start in the third quarter of 2011, with the completion expected by the end of 2015.

Here’s the full press release from the airport’s website:

(HONG KONG, 25 January 2011) – Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) today unveiled phase 1 of its midfield development project and celebrated the on-time, on-budget completion of a HK$4.5 billion facility enhancement project for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

The $7 billion phase 1 development of the midfield includes the building of a new midfield concourse with 20 aircraft parking stands, a new cross-field taxiway and the extension of the existing automated people mover (APM) to the midfield concourse.

Construction will start in the third quarter of this year and the project is expected to generate 2,000 job opportunities. Phase 1 development is targeted for completion by the end of 2015.

The midfield area is located to the west of Terminal 1 and between the two existing runways. It is the last piece of land on the airport island available for large-scale development.

Officiating at the ceremony, the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Eva Cheng, said, “HKIA has always been providing world-class services for passengers and cargo, thanks to AA for making timely investments in improving facilities to enhance the handling capacity of the airport. On the software front, the government will continue to pursue a progressive liberalisation policy on air services, encouraging airlines to add more services so as to strengthen the international network and transit role of the airport.”

Ms Cheng also mentioned that AA would launch a public consultation exercise on the HKIA Master Plan 2030 in the first half of this year. She said that such consultation, the focus of work this year, was important to Hong Kong”s status as an aviation centre and Hong Kong’s long-term economic development. She called on members of the public and the aviation industry to provide valuable comments on the strategic developments of the airport in the next 20 years.

The Chairman of the AA, Dr Marvin Cheung Kin-tung, said, “Equipping HKIA with sufficient handling capacity is key to strengthening Hong Kong’s competitiveness as a leading regional and international aviation centre, and a preferred gateway to the Mainland. To meet future demand, the new midfield concourse with 20 aircraft parking stands will ultimately enable about 10 million passengers a year to embark and disembark aircraft using air bridges at this concourse.”

In phase 1 works, eleven of the 20 aircraft parking stands to be built at the midfield are bridge-served, inclusive of some stands equipped with three air bridges designed for superjumbo aircraft A380. The remaining nine stands are  operational stands not being connected to the midfield concourse with air bridges in phase 1 works.

“Moving ahead, the upcoming midfield development project, together with our long-term development blueprint, HKIA Master Plan 2030, will become the most important corporate projects of the AA. They will position HKIA for future challenges and opportunities,” Dr Cheung added.

As part of the AA’s continuing green efforts, a series of environmental initiatives are also being incorporated into the design of the midfield development project. The floor-to-ceiling façade in the new passenger concourse will use high-performance glazing that will reflect over 40% of solar heat, thereby reducing the use of air conditioning; north-facing skylights will maximise natural lighting in the centre of the building; low-energy lighting with daylight sensors will reduce energy consumption; and low-polluting recycled water-cooled chillers for air conditioning will also be adopted to reduce power consumption. Furthermore, recycled asphalt from runway resurfacing will be used to construct the apron of the midfield.

Commenting on the adoption of these green features, Chief Executive Officer of the AA Stanley Hui Hon-chung said, “Sustainable development has always been an integral aspect of the airport’s operations and development. The design of the midfield concourse will follow HK BEAM PLUS, a recognised method for assessing the environmental performance of buildings.”

Since the fiscal year of 2003/2004, the AA has been investing an average of $2 billion a year to enhance and expand HKIA’s facilities. Started in 2006, the $4.5 billion facility enhancement project covered expansion and improvements at Terminal 1 and the airfield. Major upgrades at Terminal 1 included merging the original two arrivals immigration halls into one, reconfiguring the departures immigration halls, doubling the baggage handling system capacity to 16,000 bags per hour, and increasing the number of facilities such as airline transfer desks, immigration counters and security channels.

On the airfield, the North Satellite Concourse commenced operations last year with two storeys and ten bridge-served stands for small aircraft. Ten additional freighter stands and an associated taxi lane were also constructed.