Hong Kong has consistently ranked as one of the most breathtaking destinations on the globe, and this experience begins with the literal sensation of flying into the city’s heart, providing a rush of sheer and unfiltered excitement.
Those who recall the era of the old Kai Tak airport—a terminal situated along Victoria Harbor in the city’s core—might fondly remember the heart-pounding landing sequence. The buildings would come so close to the descending aircraft that you could almost lend a hand to the locals hanging their laundry outside.
Although the scene has evolved since Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) moved its base of operations to reclaimed land around Chek Lap Kok Island, just off Lantau Island on the city’s western outskirts, the thrill remains undiminished. Nowadays, the flights provide a bird’s-eye glimpse of Hong Kong’s stunning blend of lush green landscapes and futuristic, skyward-reaching towers.
The former Kai Tak Airport used to host landings right in Hong Kong’s heart, while the present-day Chek Lap Kok Airport offers an entirely fresh experience for travelers.
Opening its doors in 1998, Chek Lap Kok Airport revolutionized the arrival scene with its open and hangar-like halls and cutting-edge, futuristic designs, promising smooth access and a seamless travel journey. This establishment was a marvel in engineering, with approximately 550 million cubic meters of earth laid to make the land ready for immediate and future needs.
The airport’s state-of-the-art interiors quickly became the benchmark for global travel.
Soon after, airports worldwide began to emulate Hong Kong’s success, and in subsequent years, HKIA greeted nearly 75 million passengers annually at its peak and handled over 5 million tons of cargo in 2018, making it the most productive airport globally.
Now in its 25th year of operation, HKIA continues to search for innovative ways to enhance the travel experience. One of its latest brainchildren is the Sky Bridge, part of the HK$9 billion Terminal 1 Enhancement Projects, now connecting the airport’s Terminal 1 (T1) and the T1 Satellite Concourse. This mostly glass construction offers breathtaking, camera-ready vistas over the airport and surrounding countryside, with the largest planes on earth capable of passing directly below.
Known as the “world’s longest air-side bridge that permits the largest passenger aircraft to glide under it,” this engineering wonder eliminates the need for bus rides between the T1 Satellite Concourse and T1, cutting travel time by up to 20 minutes. More than a convenience, it provides travelers with picturesque opportunities.
Stretching 200 meters and elevated more than 28 meters above the ground, the Sky Bridge allows enough clearance for an A380—the world’s biggest passenger plane—to navigate beneath. Onlookers can even glimpse straight into the cockpit thanks to the glass flooring.
Construction of the Sky Bridge began as an idea in 2017, but due to its enormous scale—weighing over 5,000 tons—it had to be assembled off-site to reduce its impact on the airport’s daily routines.
The three pre-cast segments forming the bridge were initially built and put together in Zhongshan and then transported in stages to HKIA. After reassembly, the main structure was moved overnight to its final position during the usual runway maintenance hours.
Digital rehearsals facilitated the process, aiding in finding the optimal route and refining the plan, as explained by Ricky Leung, executive director of engineering and technology at Airport Authority Hong Kong. It allowed the team to review the design from a traveler’s perspective, illustrating a harmonious blend of engineering and technology.
Visitors to Hong Kong today are sharing the excitement of the Sky Bridge with friends and family all over the world. According to Steven Yiu, the executive director of airport operations, it represents yet another “unique experience” that only a visit to Hong Kong can provide.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Hong Kong International Airport
What is the Sky Bridge at Hong Kong International Airport?
The Sky Bridge is a part of the HK$9 billion Terminal 1 Enhancement Projects at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), connecting Terminal 1 (T1) and the T1 Satellite Concourse. It’s known as the “world’s longest air-side bridge that allows the largest passenger aircraft to pass under it,” saving up to 20 minutes per trip for passengers. The mostly glass structure offers stunning views over the airport and the countryside.
When was the Sky Bridge at HKIA first conceived?
The Sky Bridge concept first started to take shape back in 2017. Its massive scale meant it needed to be prefabricated off-site to minimize any impact on the airport’s day-to-day operations.
How did the Hong Kong International Airport evolve over time?
HKIA shifted operations from the old airport at Kai Tak to the reclaimed land around Chek Lap Kok Island in 1998. It set new standards with open-planned arrival halls and futuristic designs. Since then, it has kept looking for ways to innovate its operations, including the addition of the Sky Bridge.
What was the process of constructing the Sky Bridge?
The three pre-cast segments that form the Sky Bridge were first built and assembled in Zhongshan, then separated and delivered in three stages to the HKIA. The main structure was then transported to its final position overnight when the runway was usually shut down for maintenance. Digital rehearsals helped in planning the shortest route and fine-tuning the plan.
What makes the Sky Bridge a unique experience for travelers?
The Sky Bridge stretches for 200 meters and sits more than 28 meters off the tarmac, high enough to allow space for an A380 to pass underneath. The glass flooring allows passengers to peer down straight into the cockpit of passing planes, providing breathtaking, Instagram-ready views and cutting travel time between terminals.