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Chek Lap Kok Airport
The new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok opened on July 6, 1998, less than nine years after the project was first announced as the replacement facility for the existing airport at Kai Tak.
The new airport is one of 10 related infrastructure projects collectively known as the Airport Core Program. The airport construction site, one of the world's largest, is situated at the original Chek Lap Kok island, off the northern coast of Lantau island, 25 kilometers west of Hong Kong's central business district.
The airport is the responsibility of the Airport Authority, which was established in 1990 by the Hong Kong Government as a provisional body to plan, design and build the airport. In December, 1995, it made the transition to its permanent status as the Airport Authority of Hong Kong.
The Authority was responsible for the construction of the airport island, its runways and airfield, the passenger terminal complex and all on-island infrastructure. It retains strategic control over airport operations and the airport business.
The 1,248-hectare airport island is approximately the same size of the Kowloon Peninsula. About three quarters of the site areas was made up a massive reclamation from the sea, with the rest formed from the excavation of the original islands of Chek Lap Kok and Lam Chal. About 347 million cubic meters of material - roughly 10 tons a second was moved during the 31 -month site preparation work.
The new airport opened with one runway with the second runway due for completion at the end of 1998. Ultimate design capacity will be 87 million passengers and 9 million tons of cargo, making it one of the busiest airports in the world.
Years after opening, operations are running normally at the new airport. Passenger services have achieved high rates of efficiency: Arriving passengers wait no longer than 15 minutes at Immigration counters, and an average of 10 minutes for their bags. About 80 percent of aircraft depart on time or within 15 minutes of schedule.
This project was one of the largest earth-moving and dredging operations ever undertaken in the world in such a short time. About 347 million cubit meters of material was moved during the contract. About 400,00 cubic meters of rock, soil, mud and marine sand was moved every day - that is 280 cubic meters every minute or 10 tons a second.
In the property business, where location means everything, Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok has it all. The advantages of location are clear. The airport has an immediate catchment of 6.5 million people - Hong Kong's population. Beyond lies the Pearl River Delta, China and the world. At least 34 million people will use the airport annually. With its round the clock international air services and its efficient road, rail and sea links to urban Hong Kong and the broader region of Southern China, the airport is quite simply, the stepping stone to a vast market.
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