Hong Kong International Airport is popularly referred to as Chek Lap Kok Airport, after Chek Lap Kok, one of the islands that make up the airport’s 1,248-hectare platform reclaimed from sea. HKIA was built on an artificial island built with tons of landfill, and is connected to the north side of Lantau Island and the newly developed city of Tung Chung.
Chek Lap Kok is the replacement for the old Hong Kong International Airport, popularly known as Kai Tak International Airport, which had a spectacular urban approach, causing noise pollution for nearby residents. After complaints from residents and pilots flying to Hong Kong, Kai Tak was retired after operations were moved to Chek Lap Kok. Many aviation enthusiasts were upset with the death of Kai Tak, because of the unique approach. Pilots had to use a checkerboard on a hill to safely land at Kai Tak. Chep Lap Kok’s landing is an ordinary landing.
HKIA is the hub of Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong flag carrier. Its IATA Airport Code is HKG, which is the same as what Kai Tak once had.
Opened in July 6, 1998, it took six years and US $20 billion to build. For three to five months after its opening, it suffered various severe organizational, mechanical, and technical problems that almost crippled the airport. At one time, the government reopened the cargo terminal at Kai Tak Airport to handle freight traffic due to a breakdown at the new cargo terminal, named Super One. Luckily, things started to settle down after six months and the airport started to operate normally.
On 22 August 1999, Mandarin Airlines Flight 642, which was landing in Tropical Storm Sam at Hong Kong International Airport on a route from Don Muang International Airport in Bangkok to Hong Kong, rolled upside down on the runway. The plane came to rest upside down. 3 of the passengers died.
In May 25, 2002, China Airlines Flight 611 broke up in midflight on the way to Hong Kong International Airport from Chiang Kai Shek International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan. All of the passengers on board perished.
The airport can be reached by the Airport Express, a dedicated high-speed rail link provided by MTR. It takes 23 minutes to reach the airport from Hong Kong Station which is located in Central, in the Central and Western district on Hong Kong Island. In-town check-in is available at Hong Kong Station for most airlines.
Airline check-in at HKIA is divided into eight aisles as passengers enter the airport.
South African Airways
Swiss International Airlines
All Nippon Airways
Thai Airways International
Air New Zealand
Japan Asia Airways
Orient Thai Airlines
China Eastern Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines
China Southern Airlines