Airport shopkeepers furious about water leaks in brand-new terminal building

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 June, 2008, 12:00am

Irate shopkeepers in the airport's second terminal are demanding to know why they are being plagued by water leaking into the brand-new building during heavy rain - as their counterparts in the older Terminal One were dealing with similar problems due to a damaged roof membrane.

During the downpour brought by Severe Tropical Storm Fengshen yesterday, scores of buckets were being used in both terminals to catch water, creating embarrassing scenes in the airport that has been regularly rated the world's best.

The problem in the HK$2.8 billion Terminal Two - officially opened just a year ago - has been blamed on ill-fitting glass doors on level five which allowed water to seep in and drip down into stores in the SkyPlaza shopping centre on level three of the open-plan building.

In the 10-year-old Terminal One, the Airport Authority said the roof could have been scratched by tools being used in routine maintenance.

Repair work is under way but has been hampered by the bad weather.

The operator of a Circle K convenience store in Terminal 2 said water had leaked in during the record-setting black rainstorm early this month and the recurrence yesterday was unacceptable.

'They have spent so much money on the terminal and it's been open just for a year. This is quite an eyesore. And it's not good for the city's international image.' The store manager said he had complained to the Airport Authority but maintenance workers said there was not much they could do.

An authority spokeswoman said the construction contractor for Terminal Two, Chun Wo Development, had explained connections between glass screen doors and the ground had not been completed well.

All but a few of the more than 20 shops on level three of Terminal Two had buckets set out to catch drips yesterday and there were more than 10 buckets in various spots in Terminal One's departure and arrival halls.

The second terminal, an extension of the main passenger terminal started trial operations in February last year and was officially opened in June that year. About a dozen airlines have counters in the new terminal.

The 140,000-square-metre terminal resembles a large shopping centre, with more than 130 shops and restaurants.