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The new ‘Airport City’: Hong Kong International Airport redefines travel experience

By Camille Santiago Published Mar 02, 2023 8:43 pm

Hong Kong has always been considered as an international destination of choice among Filipinos.. It’s visa-free, it’s only about two hours away from Manila, and it has the nearest Disneyland!

In fact, according to Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Deputy Director Daniel Chan, the Philippines was the fourth largest source of tourist arrivals into Hong Kong when it reopened in January of this year. 

“It is therefore very important for us to share [this] with the Filipino community,” said Chan during the media luncheon for the “World of Winners” campaign.

The campaign, which kicks off this March, is Hong Kong’s efforts to bring in tourists all over the world by offering 500,000 free airline tickets to the region, with 30,000 of those to be given away to residents in the Philippines

But aside from the campaign, Hong Kong invites travelers to experience its new and unique offerings, including a “brand new airport experience.” 

“At Hong Kong International Aiport (HKIA), the terminal has been extensively refurbished, with various new services and facilities providing passengers a brand-new airport experience,” said Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) Chief Operating Officer Vivian Cheung. 

Therefore, AAHK envisions HKIA to be an “Airport City” as it implements developments to transform the airport into a new landmark, driving an estimated traffic of 120 million passengers. 

To lure back visitors, the Hong Kong government has officially dropped the mask mandate beginning March 1.

“This is a clear message that Hong Kong is returning to normalcy,” Chan said. “We are welcoming everybody from anywhere in the world with open arms.” 

‘Efficiency is everything’ 

One big enhancement that this multi-awarded airport takes pride in is its smart technologies. 

“In Hong Kong efficiency is everything,” said Cheung. The promise is that it will only take a passenger 4.5 minutes to get through their security point, and another 10 minutes through immigration. 

“We don't want airport to take away your time. You are supposed to enjoy yourself in Hong Kong,” she added.

Smart technologies such as facial recognition, check-in kiosks, and self-bag drop facilities, allow a convenient and hassle-free journey for passengers who are checking-in and boarding.

Cheung also added that HKIA is “the first airport to use autonomous vehicle in the airport to transport your luggage” and the first one to use 5G internet in any airport.

Destination: Airport

To accommodate more air traffic, HKIA is expanding with a third runway, opening in 2024.

“We can actually serve 1,000 tons of cargo and 120 million passengers,” Cheung said, adding that when it does reach that stage, HKIA might “probably [be] the world's number one or two largest airport in the world.”

Terminal 2 is also expanding with a new automated people mover system that will transport passengers from one terminal to another and themed zones. 

Overview of the third runway system

The Sky Bridge, the world’s longest airside footbridge, is also open, connecting Terminal 1 and T1 concourse. 

And for those with long layovers, they’ll be happy to know that there is SkyCity, a business and entertainment complex. Here you’ll find 11 Skies— Hong Kong’s biggest indoor shopping, entertainment, and dining property—as well as Asia Expo, Hong Kong’s biggest indoor arena.

Sky Bridge

So whether you find yourself in Hong Kong for vacation or a layover, HKIA promises better passenger experience in their airport.