Hong Kong airport opens new North Satellite Concourse

To ensure the same level of service for the growing number of passengers flying on smaller aircraft, the Airport Authority has invested over HK$1 billion in the construction of a new North Satellite Concourse (NSC). The new concourse, which will be soft-opened on 17 December, will ensure that Hong Kong International Airport continues to meet its performance pledge of embarking and disembarking more than 90% of its passengers by air bridges. The NSC is designed to serve more than five million passengers a year at the initial stage.

Situated to the north of the Terminal 1 (T1), the NSC is a two-storey facility equipped with 10 frontal stands (gate numbers: 501 to 510) for narrow-bodied aircraft. Passengers using the new concourse depart as normal, completing their check-in, immigration and security procedures in either T1 or T2 before proceeding to a designated area at T1 to board a shuttle bus for the concourse. Waiting area of the concourse houses 10 retail and two catering outlets. Departing passengers may also take the shuttle to T1 at any time. Shuttle buses to and from the NSC will run every four minutes.

Passengers deplaning from an arriving flight at the facility will take a shuttle bus to T1 to clear customs and immigration, while transfer passengers will board a shuttle for their connecting flight at T1 or go to the NSC’s transfer area if their next flight departs from the same concourse.

Howard Eng, Executive Director, Airport Operations of Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, “HKIA is dedicated to providing top-notch service and facilities to enhance its competitiveness as a regional and international aviation centre. With the new satellite concourse, less than 10 flights will need to be parked at remote bays every day compared to the current 40 to 50. This means more passengers can embark or disembark their aircraft in a pleasant, weatherproof environment, sparing them the inconvenience of being exposed to hot or rainy weather.”

The NSC has a floor area of 20,000 square metres and is one of the core projects of the $4.5 billion near-term airfield and terminal enhancement programme that was launched in 2006.

Other highlights of the programme that have been completed include the reconfiguration of the Departures Immigration halls to increase HKIA’s security screening capacity by over 40%, and the expansion of the transfer area to cater for the continued growth of transit and transfer passengers. HKIA also intends to complete the upgrade of its baggage handling system and consolidate the two Arrivals Immigration halls into one single, spacious area in the near future. The entire programme will be concluded by 2011.

To cater for the airport’s projected mid-term growth, HKIA is also studying a midfield expansion project that would provide additional aircraft stands, related apron facilities and another passenger concourse to handle anticipated traffic demand up to the year 2020. The preliminary study will be completed next year.