Airport such a disappointment

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 October, 1998, 12:00am

Much has already been said about both the failings and merits of the airport at Chek Lap Kok, but one has to wonder why the 'mandarins' who selected the design did not take some lessons from the designers of Amsterdam's Schipol or, dare I say, Singapore's Changi Airport.

These mandarins were certainly not airport users.

Sir Norman Foster's design may be 'technically' advanced but it is only a larger version of his design for London's Stansted Airport.

It is the only airport I know where check-in staff tell you that you face a 30-minute walk and give you boarding cards with estimated walking times to the farthest gates. It lacks two-way moving walkways and has an internal train that I have never found in eight departures to date.

Also, there is not a a trolley in sight. Schipol and Changi have none of these failings, nor has Kuala Lumpur's new airport. In Changi, trolleys are next to the immigration counters, there are moving walkways in both directions and they are all on one level. How many levels are there at Chek Lap Kok? Where is Hong Kong's premier bank? Have you ever tried to get Hong Kong dollars at Chek Lap Kok without accepting Thomas Cook's indefensible rate? I have only been able to find one ETC machine in the departure area and that was Bank of America's.

Shame on the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank for not allowing its local clients access to its facilities at our new airport.

Even after all the money that has been spent on the airport, passengers still get bussed to and from the aircraft. This does not happen at either Changi or Schipol.