Turning vision into reality

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Turning vision into reality
9½ minutes

Hong Kong is the economic and communication hub of the Asia Pacific region and is the natural gateway to mainland China.

Civil aviation has long been crucial to Hong Kong’s economic success. Its airport soon became the world’s busiest with direct air services to over 76 key cities. The rapid growth in international passenger numbers and cargo tonnage that started in the 1980’s stretched facilities at the Kai Tak airport to the limit.
A new airport was clearly essential to meet the expanding demands of business, trade and tourism, and to maintain Hong Kong’s regional and global competitiveness. And so the Airport Core Programme (ACP) was devised comprising of ten major projects including the new airport and supporting infrastructure.
The Hong Kong Airport Core Programme projects.

  1. Airport Railway

  2. Central Reclamation

  3. Western Harbour Crossing

  4. West Kowloon Reclamation

  5. West Kowloon Expressway

  6. Route 3

  7. Lantau Link

  8. North Lantau Expressway

  9. Tung Chung New Town

  10. Chek Lap Kok Airport

These huge interlinked projects only took eight years to complete. Hong Kong could be justifiably proud of its achievements in bringing them all in on schedule and within budget.
The opening of the Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok in July 1998 opened up an exciting new era in civil aviation. Four times larger than Kai Tak, this ultra modern facility cost HK$70.2 billion. It underpins Hong Kong’s position as a vital domestic, regional and international aviation hub. Built on a site formed in part from the little island of Chek Lap Kok. This facility can operate around the clock. In scale and design it ranks among the world’s finest airports.

sing one runway (South Runway) initially it can handle 35 million passengers and more than 3 million tonnes of cargo a year. The second runway (North Runway) opened inaugurated in August 1999 will allow further development with a capacity of 87 million passengers and 9 million tonnes of cargo a year. (North Runway is now used for landing and South Runway is used for departures.)

The new airport provides world class facilities including a massive air cargo complex

Super Terminal One.

The design of the spacious passenger terminal, 1.2 km long ensures comfort and convenience for all users. The Terminal Shopping Mall and Hong Kong Skymart is a world class retail and catering concept offering shoppers a wide choice of quality goods and services in an exciting environment.
The Airport Core Programme is one of the world’s biggest infrastructure programme, it includes an integrated transport program. A railway and highway that links the airport and urban areas. Traveling to and from the airport is easy and convenient by railway, bus, taxi, and ferry.
The high-speed airport railway links the airport with Hong Kong Island, Kowloon. A 34 km journey taking just 23 minutes. Each of its two services interchanges with the existing Mass Transit Railway network. First the Airport Express this only has two intermediate stops at Kowloon and Tsing Yi. Plus in town passenger check-in at the Hong Kong and Kowloon stations.

Next the Tung Chung Line provides a mass transit type domestic services at Hong Kong Island and Tung Chung.

Hong Kong’s spectacular growth requires further reclamation from Victoria Harbour. Initially 20 hectares of land have been reclaimed off Central waterfront for the Central Railway Hong Kong terminal. The 2 km long Western Harbour Crossing is the third road tunnel to connect Hong Kong Island with Kowloon. A dual three lane tunnel, it was constructed privately under a franchise agreement. The airport railway crosses the harbour in its own tunnel.

Another core project making the best use of scarce land resources is the West Kowloon Reclamation. This provides 334 hectares of land, enough for more than 600 football fields along the West Kowloon waterfront. Besides creating a new transport corridor for the new airport, this reclamation will also be used for commercial, residential and recreational purposes. It has increased the size west of Kowloon Peninsula by 30%. In places the shoreline has been extended outwards by 1 km.

The 4km West Kowloon Expressway constructed on this reclamation links the Western Harbour Crossing to the Kwai Chung crossing on Route 3 and help to improve traffic flow in west Kowloon.

Route 3 forms a major north and south road link within Hong Kong and also carries traffic with mainland China. A 8km high speed road including a tunnel under Tsing Yi Island and a new bridge runs from Kwai Chung to Tsing Yi.
Spanning the gap between Tsing Yi Island and Lantau Island was a tremendous engineering challenge. The solution was the Lantau link. Two major bridges and a viaduct at the heart of the road and rail route between the airport and the urban areas.
With a main span 1377 metres. The Tsing Ma Bridge between the islands of Tsing Yi and Ma Wan is the largest rail and road suspension bridge in the world.
Connecting the Lantau Island and the new airport is a 12km new highway link called the North Lantau Expressway. The dual three lane highway runs along the island’s northern shoreline.

nother major airport core project is the New Town at Tung Chung close to the airport and provides housing for its employees, Initially home to 20,000

people it will expand by 2011 to provide accommodation for 320,000 in a mix of private, public, rental and home ownership scheme housing.

The opening of the new airport mark the successful completion of the entire Airport Core Programme. Hong Kong proved it could take on major engineering projects and manage and control them successfully. The Airport Core Programme is a powerful symbol of Hong Kong’s confidence in the future. Above all it shows how expertly the people of Hong Kong have been able to make use of their own resources to turn vision into reality.


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