Hong Kong: King of the Airports

By Rebecca Lougheed




What is happening at Hong Kong airport?

They are working on something…

They are indeed. Hong Kong is adding a new runway and they’ve just finished building it! Six years in the making and due to open 2022, the new runway is set to transform Hong Kong from a city airport to an airport city.

What’s it got now?

Hong Kong currently has two runways 07L/25R and 07R/25L, both offering 12,467’ (3800m) and a bunch of CAT II/III approach options.

The new one will be no less decent – planned to be the same length, and 60m wide.

Here’s what the computer says it will all look like when it is completed.

Why do they need it?

Hong Kong is a major hub and currently sees around 419,795 traffic movements a year, which amounted to 71.5million passengers and 4.8millions tonnes of cargo moving through it (back in 2019).

Here is the bit you are probably more interested in – it can handle just under 70 flights an hour at peak time and has 119 passengers stands, 55 cargo, 26 maintenance and 12 temporary stands.

The airport expansion will enable them to handle an additional 30 million passengers and will add 57 new parking spots.

We mentioned the slot and parking issue a few years ago. It is deceptively green at the moment, but this is probably more to do with a certain pandemic than any real improvement.

The current runways also do not run 24/7 though, there are regular maintenance closures. AIP SUP 08/21 updated on October 13 2021 has the info.

  • 07L/25R closes 3 nights a week, and 07R/25L closing for 4, between 1601-2315 UTC
  • 07L/25R also closes daily between 0116-1025 UTC.

So more runway and more parking will mean a big improvement on your chances of ad-hoc ops in.

(OK, we’ll slot in a quick slot summary)

This was issued in June 2021: The Hong Kong slot getting guide.

In brief, you probably want to do this:

It it a confusing a frustrating process so if it is your first time you might want to get some help from an agent. Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre (HKBAC) are based at Hong Kong (and you’ll be talking to them for your ground handling anyway.

Email: hkbac@hkbac.com

Phone: +852 2949 9000

Back to the expansion plan: What stage is it at now?

The runway work is complete. This will be designated the North runway, while the current north (07L/25R) will become “Centre”. The re-designation will happen at 0000 UTC on December 2 so don’t get confused!

The full ‘three runway system’ is only due for completion in 2024 as the new terminal is yet to be constructed.

It even has some lights.

What about arrivals and things?

The new charts are likely to only be introduced from 2022, however, the current set up bring aircraft into common points which link to approaches for either runway, so chances are they will just add the 07L/25R (new) to these as well.

The plan is to equip all three runways for takeoffs and landings, but primarily use the northerly for landings, the central for take-offs and the southerly for both.

The Hong Kong CAA is also working with the Chinese and Macao CAA to re-develop and improve efficiency in the Greater Bay Area airspace. This airspace refers to the areas utilised by Macao, Guangdong and Hong Kong airports which is high density.

VHHH/Hong Kong’s traffic is restricted by the so called “air wall” between Hong Kong airspace and Pearl River Delta region airspace, and this will also be improved for better traffic efficiency.

The PRD airspace refers to the region, and includes several major airports.

The point of control handover is BEKOL, and traffic must reach set altitudes by this point.

Improvements to the airspace are not un-neededseparation issues have cropped up a few times in the past. So watch this space for changes to routings and handover procedures through to 2024.

Want some more to read?

A full rundown of the expansion plan is written up pretty decently here.

Or read about it on the official HKIA Three Runway System website here

The main page for all things slot is here.

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More on the topic:

More reading:

Rebecca Lougheed

Rebecca Lougheed

I am an OPSGROUP team member, an A380 pilot, and interested in all things flight ops! Based near an undisclosed airfield in England. Question for us? Write to blog.team@ops.group.

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