Cause for joy at HK Airport's 20th birthday

Local | 6 Jul 2018 7:08 pm

Hong Kong International Airport marked its 20th anniversary today with some 500 workers performing a dance at the arrivals hall, much to the surprise of many passengers, RTHK reports.

It was a long way from the rough take-off that Chek Lap Kok had two decades ago, what with the computer glitches and flight delays. And the words of Airport Authority chairman Jack So reflected that: "We have had a very successful, if I could say glorious 20 years of growth ... throughout," he said.

Most of the passengers arriving in the city today seemed to agree.

"The thing I'm impressed about is you can get through the fast pass area, it's very simple for us that are travelling in from out of the country. To me an airport is good when you can move freely and quickly through the check-ins, through the customs and gate, maybe have a little bit of time to relax," said a business traveler.

A woman from Dubai was impressed with the big spaces and cleanliness. But her eight-year-old daughter thought there was something to improve. "Is there any AC here? I think we need an AC here, I definitely think," she said.

A tourist from Taiwan was a little more farsighted. Her suggestion to the airport authority was to add some robots. "I saw the robot service in Tokyo," she said.

Chek Lap Kok was recently ranked the fourth best airport in the world, behind Tokyo's Haneda and Seoul's Incheon, while Singapore's Changi has been sitting at the top for six years.

The airport is currently being expanded, with a third runway planned, as well as a new baggage system and a revamp of Terminal One.

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, the airport set new annual records in all three air traffic categories. The airport welcomed 73.6 million passengers and handled 423,390 flight movements, registering year-on-year increases of 4.5 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively. Cargo and airmail grew by 7.6 percent to 5.1 million tons.

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