New Skypier will improve delta connections

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 23 December, 2006, 12:00am

FASTER AND MORE efficient connections with the Pearl River Delta are a priority for Hong Kong International Airport.

The Airport Authority has just announced it is investing HK$1billion to develop Skypier ferry terminal, which has connections to five Pearl River Delta ports: Shenzhen Shekou, Shenzhen Fuyong, Macau, Zhongshan and Humen in Dongguan.

High-speed ferries have shuttled 3.7 million transit passengers to the airport since Skypier opened three years ago. Last year, the passenger flow reached 1.5million, up more than 40 per cent from the year before.

The extended terminal, which is set for completion in 2008, will include the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel and be eight times the size of the existing Skypier.

'The custom-designed permanent Skypier will have a larger handling capacity and more advanced facilities to support the development of new ferry routes,' Airport Authority chief executive David Pang Ding-jung said at the announcement ceremony. 'Skypier extends the airport's home market into the Pearl River Delta.'

The Skypier service enables passengers from the mainland to fly out of Hong Kong without all the immigration and customs formalities. This helps to cut travel times from some ports by half. Besides the cross-boundary ferry service, there are about 170 coach trips running daily. These coach services link the airport with 40 towns and cities in the Pearl River Delta.

Skypier's expansion is in tandem with the development of the new Terminal 2, housing an aviation-themed shopping hub called SkyPlaza. They are part of a long-term development called SkyCity, which incorporates the AsiaWorld-Expo, the new hotel project, a nine-hole golf course and offices.