Located at the western end of the airport island and adjacent to the Midfield, the 430,000-square-metre site will be equipped with 16 parking stands for common use. A cross-runway tunnel linking the West Apron to the cargo area, built during the construction of HKIA in the 1990s for future growth needs, will also be commissioned to facilitate efficient apron vehicle traffic.
Major construction is expected to start mid-year in two phases. The first phase, which includes the construction of nine aircraft parking stands, related supporting facilities and the connection of the western airfield tunnel to the cargo area, is slated to be completed by the end of 2013. At the end of the second phase in end-2014, the remaining seven stands will be ready for operation.
C K Ng, Deputy Director, Airport Operations, Airport Authority Hong Kong, said, “We are seeing rising demand for aircraft parking spaces due to growing air traffic, continuous fleet expansions by airlines and the introduction of new types of aircraft. Currently, passenger and cargo throughput, as well as aircraft movements, have outstripped our baseline growth projections, with both passenger trips and flight movements setting new records in 2011.
“The new parking stands at the West Apron will help accommodate the need for parking spaces in the medium term. Meanwhile, three stands that can cater for new types of aircraft with longer fuselages, such as the B747-8F freighter, have been planned at the West Apron.”
The West Apron development will accommodate HKIA’s expected growth in aircraft traffic as the Civil Aviation Department gradually raises the hourly handling capacity of the airport’s two runways from the current 62 flights per hour to 68 by 2015.