Chek Lap Kok Airport layout blunder fears

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 May, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 May, 1997, 12:00am

A senior European airport official has questioned whether Chek Lap Kok airport will cater adequately for the Chinese market because of a layout aimed predominantly at wide-bodied aircraft.

The senior vice-president of marketing at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, Hans Wernink, said officials at the new airport should be making sure before it opened that it properly took account of regional airports in China.

Mr Wernink said it appeared the layout of gates and spaces Chek Lap Kok appeared to be on the basis of large aircraft such as 747s, neglecting to take account of smaller aircraft.

'Have you taken into consideration the fact that you're on the doorstep of China?,' he asked.

'I don't think there are many airfields in China that can accommodate wide-bodied jets.' Officials needed to take into account the fact that many businessmen would use Hong Kong as a hub that would allow easy access to secondary cities in China, Mr Wernink said.

He said it was 'not practical' to consider using Shenzhen as a form of regional airport servicing Hong Kong.

The transfer time between Chek Lap Kok and Shenzhen would be too long and bureaucratic for travellers, he said.

Schiphol has recently been expanding its presence internationally as an airport manager.

It won two major management contracts for airports - which also entailed making investments - at New York's John F. Kennedy airport, where it will take charge of operations until 2015, and Brisbane Airport, which it will run for 99 years.


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