Source: Background image from Google Earth.
The construction of Hong Kong Sky Hong Kong International Airport required the setting of a completely new island. It is serviced by two parallel runways, one for take-offs (7R/25L) and the other for landings (7L/25R). The airport was initially composed of the main terminal (Terminal 1), which remains the world’s third-largest airport structure after Dubai and Beijing. Large amounts of space were made available for a co-located logistics and cargo area, underlining the strategic importance of the airport in global air cargo flows. A new terminal complex, dubbed Skycity, opened in 2009 on the northeastern part of the artificial island. It is composed of a check-in facility and an office and entertainment complex that includes a convention center and hotel. It also has ferry services to mainland China, extending the market area of the airport.
The airport quickly became heavily used. The North Satellite Concourse, which specializes in narrow-body planes, was completed in 2009, adding 10 new gates to increase the number of planes the airport could accommodate. The same year, construction for the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge began, a mega-project that was completed in 2018. The bridge runs directly adjacent to the airport and accommodates significant passenger and cargo flows. This mega-project required a further expansion next to the airport to build the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing Facilities, which provide customs clearance facilities for vehicles using the bridge. In 2011 construction started for the Midfield Concourse, which was opened in December 2015, adding 20 new gates and a capacity of 10 million passengers per year. In 2022, anticipating future growth, a third runway was opened on additional reclaimed land. However, the position of Hong Kong as a global commercial air hub was seriously compromised during the Covid-19 pandemic as the airport lost 90% of its traffic in 2021 and 2022.
The Hong Kong international airport is a clear example of a facility that has become a city in itself with a complex array of supporting activities and developing connectivity to the metropolitan area as well as to the Pearl River Delta.