Friday, June 3, 2011

Chek Lap Kok Airport

The Hong Kong International airport, also known as Chek Lap Kok Airport, was opened in 1998 for commercial use.  It is built on reclaimed land.  It has over 90 airlines operating out of it to over150 cities worldwide.  The passenger terminal building is one of the largest in the world and the airport is an important part of the Hong Kong's economy, as 60,000 people work there.
It is the hub for Cathay Pacific, Dragonair, Hong Kong Airlines and a Hong Kong Cargo Airline.  In 2010 it became the busiest airport for cargo travel in the world.
The Lantau Link serves as a road for cars, and underneath it is the tracks for the train.
When it opened in July of 1998 there were massive problems for the first 5 months and it took some time for the technological problems to be sorted out, and there was great embarrassment  over the delays and problems, but eventually it was corrected and began to operate normally.
In 2007 Terminal 2 was opened and you go between the two by underground rail.  They have begun the construction of the midfield  and it will open in 2015 and will accommodate the airbus and cater to an additional 10 million passengers annually.
This is the Airport Express Station. You can check your baggage in here early so you don't have to take it all the way out to the airport with you, and when you check in for your flight its already been put through.  There are two of these stations in the city, one at Kowloon station and one at the Hong Kong station.
This is taken from our bus and we're heading out of the city to Lantau Island where the airport is located.
Coming into the airport itself.

These two pictures are at the drop off area for departures.

This is the Arrivals Hall, and Departures is above.
Ramp leading to level 5.
The arches in the roof were build in this manner to help with ventilation and airflow of the air conditioning.   Also special glazed windows were installed.  Terminal 1 is 1.27 Km. long.
Looking from the departures area down into the arrivals hall.
Looking over the banks of departures terminals.

The architecture is really quite lovely in places.
There are two huge cargo terminals. The top picture is the Asia Air Freight Terminal and the one below is the Super Terminal 1 and is the worlds second largest stand alone cargo facility.  They  handle around 9 million tonnes per yr.

Looking over the airport from the Ngong Ping cable cars. 
To get the land needed for the airport two islands Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chau  were leveled and then they reclaimed 9.8 km square of seabed, making a totally new island which is connected to  the north side of Lantau Island near Tung Chung.  There were quite a few other projects that went along with the building of the airport, just as bridges, new roads, tunnels and rail links, plus major reclamation projects in both Kowloon and Hong Kong Island.  It was a huge undertaking that took 6 years and $20 million US.
Terminals 1 and 2.  There is an automated people mover (train) to get you between the two terminals.  Terminal 2 has a large shopping mall called SkyPlaza.
Control Tower.  There are two runways and handles around 68 flights per hour.  There is supposed to be a third runway but l don't know if its been built or not.
Getting to the airport is fairly easy, as there are many ways of getting there.  Because it is open 24-7,  they have special night buses,and you can also travel by MTR, regular buses, taxi or ferry.  All in all its quite the place, and even l can get there by myself now!!!  Tonight we are flying to Beijing for 3 days, so l guess you know what the next few blogs will be about!!  If you are a praying person keep us in mind this weekend as l'm a little worried about all the walking.  Great wall here we come!!

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