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Tue, 30 June 2020

Hong Kong's Airport Authority Publishes Annual Report and Future Plans

The Airport Authority of Hong Kong has published its Annual Report 2019/20 for the fiscal year ended 31 March 2020.

With the negative impact of the COVID19 pandemic, passenger volume and flight movement at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) dropped 18.9% and 12% to 60.9 million and 377,420 respectively.

Cargo volume was also hit by international trade dispute in 2019/20, registering year-on-year drop of 7.3% to 4.7 million tonnes. Despite that, HKIA remains the worlds busiest cargo airport for the 10th consecutive year.

In response to COVID19, the Airport Authority responded quickly to ensure the safety of passengers and airport staff, fully supporting and facilitating all health and quarantine measures imposed by the government as the situation evolved.

Cathay Pacific Airbus A350 at HKIA with a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747F in the background. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

This included providing dedicated areas in Terminal 1 (T1) to process passengers arriving from affected areas and assisting in the implementation of various port health measures. HKIA also stepped up cleaning schedules and deployed cutting-edge robots to thoroughly disinfect the terminal buildings and passenger facilities. Extra hand-sanitiser dispensers have been installed and the airport has been using public address system announcements, posters, videos and social media to disseminate related health protection messages.

The COVID19 pandemic has not distracted the Airport Authority from its long-term vision. During the year, the Airport City development continued and significant progress on all projects was achieved. The construction of the Three-runway System (3RS) was progressing as planned, with the third runway on track to start service in 2022, and the entire 3RS project, which includes new buildings and related infrastructure, is expected to be commissioned in 2024.

As part of the 3RS project, Terminal 2 (T2) was closed for refurbishment in November 2019. When it reopens in 2024, T2 will offer a full complement of services for arriving and departing passengers. Meanwhile, to tie in seamlessly with the T2 closure, the extension to T1 was commissioned with a new aisle of 48 check-in counters and two additional baggage reclaim carousels.

During the year, the Airport Authority continued to work on a series of enhancement projects that will enrich the airport experience. Solid progress has been made in upgrading T1 with a new look and an elevated ambience. The East Hall food court has been revamped with fresh dining concepts, adding 300 seats and bringing the total to 1,200. To create a smoother airport experience, the Airport Authority is developing a biometric system that enables passengers to check in at a smart check-in kiosk and then use their biometric features to clear multiple pre-boarding checkpoints. This service is expected to commence in 2020.

In addition, works continued on the Sky Bridge, which will link T1 and the North Satellite Concourse (NSC). During the year, prefabrication of the bridge was completed and the installation of its equipment and systems has begun. The 200-metre span, which is expected to be the worlds longest airside bridge, will make connections to the NSC fast and easy, while providing spectacular views of the apron.

On the cargo front, construction of the premium logistics centre in the South Cargo Precinct started during the year. Scheduled to open in 2023, the logistic centre will help HKIA and its business partners capture opportunities in the rapidly expanding e-commerce market.

In addition, HKIA further enhanced its high-value cargo service, including animal handling service. In January 2019, HKIA and Brussels Airport, in partnership with a group of global pharmaceutical companies, pioneered the worlds first airport-to-airport pharma corridor.

To continue the development of Airport City, the Airport Authority has handed over the site of SkyCity to the developer during the year. SkyCity will featires cutting-edge technology and unique retail, dining and entertainment concepts. Construction of SkyCitys first hotel will soon be completed and the hotel is expected to open in 2020/21.

See latest Travel News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, HKIA, Hong Kong Airport, Hong Kong.

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