Hong Kong (HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT) - To cater for the increasing traffic demand between Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, HKIA will invest HK$1 billion to build a permanent cross-boundary ferry terminal - SkyPier, and extend the Automated People Mover (APM) system to link up the ferry terminal with the passenger terminal buildings. HKIA also signed a three-year agreement with Hong Kong International Airport Ferry Services Limited (HKIAFS) for the management of the new ferry terminal. HKIAFS is a joint venture which Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises (Holdings) Ltd controls a 60% stake and Shun Tak Holdings Limited holds the remaining 40%.
Target for completion by 2008, the permanent SkyPier is one of the key projects of SkyCity. It is located on the east side of the existing passenger terminal - Terminal 1, and is adjacent to the second airport hotel, Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel.
Constructed with four berths (with capacity for expansion to eight berths), the four-storey SkyPier has a total floor area of 16,000m2 or 8 times the size of the existing ferry terminal. The new SkyPier will also provide passenger check-in and baggage handling facilities. The custom-designed permanent SkyPier will have a larger handling capacity and more advanced facilities to support the development of new ferry routes.
To provide convenient, accessible and comfortable services to passengers APM services will be extended to connect the new ferry terminal with the existing Terminal 1 and soon-to-be opened Terminal 2.
Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Dr David J Pang said at the kick-off ceremony, "With the close cooperation and strong support from the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau's authorities, government officials, airlines and ferry operators, we launched the services of SkyPier three years ago. During the period, the new cross-boundary ferry service has helped HKIA expand its multi-modal transportation network, providing passengers to and from PRD via HKIA with a seamless and comfortable journey. SkyPier also extends HKIA's home market into PRD."
The existing SkyPier has served 3.7 million passengers since its opening in September 2003. Last year's passenger figure reached 1.5 million, up more than 40% over the year before. The annual passenger volume is expected to reach 3 million in five years' time. When the permanent SkyPier begins its service, the passenger handling capacity will be further enhanced helping HKIA maintain its international hub status.
Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises (Holdings) Ltd's Director and General Manager Mr Huang Lie Zhang said, "With the support and cooperation from the governments of Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau, Chu Kong Shipping Enterprises will continue to capitalise on our unique edge of being the leader in sea passenger and cargo transportation. With our solid 40 years of experience in operating sea transport between Guangdong and Hong Kong, coupled with our extensive network in the PRD, we will strive to develop the sea-air transportation link between the PRD and HKIA, bringing convenience to travellers in Guangdong, Hong Kong, Macau and the world at large. We will take the initiative in contributing to the development of business travel in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau."
Shun Tak Holdings Limited's Managing Director Ms Pansy Ho said, "Combining Shun Tak's extensive network and experience in tourism and transportation, we will continuously drive the developments and interactions of tourism and transportation in the region in order to strengthen the connectivity in the mainland and the world. We hope to pool our diversified resources with the unique strengths from our partners, so that we can meet the market needs by exploring more destinations and provide higher frequency of ferry schedules. By this, more passengers will be attracted to use SkyPier and Hong Kong International Airport, hence foster the development in economy, transport, tourist and trade in the PRD regions."
High-speed ferries of SkyPier shuttle transit passengers from five ports in the PRD region - Shenzhen Shekou, Shenzhen Fuyong, Macau, Zhongshan and Humen in Dongguan - to HKIA, almost halving the original travelling time. Last year, SkyPier introduced the world's first cross-boundary upstream check-in service at Shekou port of Shenzhen, allowing passengers to obtain their boarding passes and check in their luggage at the PRD port