The new SkyPier and North Satellite Concourse are raising the service bar at Hongkong International Airport (HKIA). Both were started up in mid-December 2009 and just officially launched.
Eight times the size of the old Skypier – which was always meant to be temporary – this latest facility now enjoys the services of the airport’s Automated People Mover (APM) system, whittling the time for passengers to travel between the ferry pier and Terminal 1 to about four minutes, which is half the time previously required. There are 20 airline check-in counters and five security screening channels as well as space to add more of these features should demand warrant it.
Since launching in 2003, the SkyPier has served almost 10 million passengers. Fast-speed ferries leaving from HKIA make about 85 trips daily to eight ports in the Pearl River Delta. These are Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Juizhou, Dongguan Humen, Guangzhou, Nansha, Shenzhen Shekou and Shenzhen Fuyong and Macau’s Taipa and Maritime Ferry Terminal.
Travellers using the SkyPier, including international passengers and PRD residents, do not need to go through immigration and customs formalities at HKIA as they should have already checked in their luggage and been cleared to leave by authorities at their point of origin. When passing through HKIA, they are also exempt from paying the HK$120 (US$15.58) departure tax.
The added North Satellite Concourse is specially designed to accommodate the rising number of narrow-bodied aircraft using HKIA such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing B737. It is equipped with 10 bridge-connected stands which authorities say will reduce the number of aircraft forced to disembark passengers at remote bays and into buses. Other facilities include 10 retail outlets, two dining outlets, a prayer room, a nursing room, children’s play area and internet zone.
For more on HKIA, visit www.hongkongairport.com
Margie T Logarta