Plan to turn old Hong Kong airport site into hub for government facilities confirmed

Revenue Tower will make switch from Wan Chai in 2022, with hi-tech public hospital opening two years later

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 8:50pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 November, 2016, 10:27pm

The old Kai Tak airport site in West Kowloon is on course to become a hub for government facilities after it was confirmed that Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Revenue Tower will both move to the new development site in the coming decade.

The public hospital that now operates in Yau Ma Tei will be merged with a new 1,700-bed facility in phases starting from 2024, when construction work is due to be finished, Dr Libby Lee Ha-yun, the Hospital Authority’s director of strategy and planning, said.

Former Hong Kong airport likely to become target for developers eyeing key source of land

Lee revealed on Wednesday that the hospital would be equipped with new lines of service, some of them unique in the city. One example is hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a treatment in which patients breath pure oxygen in a pressurised room or tube to repair damaged tissues.

It will also have cyclotron equipment, a specialist form of radiotherapy that targets certain cancers very precisely. So public hospitals would no longer need to purchase such a service from the private sector, Lee said.

She hoped the government would retain the vacated site for medical purposes after the move.

“The city is seeing an increasing demand in medical services due to the rapidly ageing population, and we will need a lot of supply to cope. I hope the government will reserve the site for medical purposes.”

Revenue Tower will make the move from Wan Chai in 2022, freeing valuable office space on Hong Kong Island.

According to a government document submitted to a Legislative Council panel, the new blocks in Kai Wai will provide 45,000 square metres of space to house all the government departments in the tower.

The construction project will be opened for tender in January, with work expected to begin by 2018.

The site will be near Kai Tai station under a new MTR line after completion of the Sha Tin-Central Link, lawmakers were told.

The Kai Tak development spans over 320 hectares in total. In October the government suggested increasing the number of flats to be built there by 28 per cent to 49,900, housing 134,000 residents, compared to a population of 105,000 in the original plan approved in 2007.

There will also be a heritage park and hotels.