Hong Kong International Airport started restricting access to its terminals this afternoon following travel disruptions caused by large-scale protests at the airport.
“To maintain smooth operations of the terminal and normal flight movement operations, as well as to ensure the safety of passengers and airport staff, Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) will implement access control at the terminal buildings of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) starting from 1400hrs today (14 August),” the Airport Authority said in a statement.
“Only departure passengers with a valid air ticket or boarding pass for a flight in the next 24 hours and a valid travel document, or airport staff with relevant identification document will be allowed to enter the terminal buildings until further notice. Passengers are reminded to arrive at the airport three hours before their departure time for the relevant checks.”
The airport has set up control points at the departure kerbs of Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, Asiaworld-Expo-bound and city-bound platforms, south and north downramps connecting to the ground transportation centre, and the walkway connecting to the Regal Airport Hotel.
Police and airport security staff will be on-site to “assist relevant persons to enter the terminals”, the Airport Authority says.
Airport- and AsiaWorld-Expo-bound Airport Express service will be adjusted to run at 25-minute intervals. The Airport Authority says departing passengers should head to the airport by public transport, while other members of the public, including those who may want to accompany departure passengers or receiving arrival passengers at the airport should not travel to the airport “unless absolutely necessary”.
“The AA has liaised with various public transport operators to notify passengers on the access control arrangements. The AA will also notify business partners and stakeholders regarding the relevant arrangements,” it said.
Starting from 5 August, Car Park 1 and 4 will be closed and drivers will have to use other car parks. The Airport Authority will also “implement additional access control arrangements according to operational circumstances, and make separate announcements about any such arrangements accordingly”.
As reported earlier today by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, the airport has already obtained an interim injunction restricting protests to designated areas.