Sustainable Development

Hong Kong International Airport Terminal One Sky Bridge

The Hong Kong International Airport intends to build a sky bridge at Terminal One, connecting Terminal One and the North Satellite Concourse with a pedestrian footbridge, which is expected to be the longest pedestrian footbridge in airport’s restricted area in the world. The main bridge is made of steel structures of 200 metres long and 20 metres wide, stretching over the airport apron, with a clearance of 28 metres, allowing A380 aircraft to taxi underneath. Upon completion, it will be open for pedestrian use 24/7. At that time, passengers can reach both buildings by foot, without the need to take shuttle buses, greatly reducing the time required to reach the gates.

Since contracting this project, the greatest challenge faced by CSHK is the restriction on the project site. As the construction process must avoid affecting the operation of the airport, we applied new technology to breakthrough limits of construction during construction design, material transportation and other tests, to avoid waste caused by construction obstacles. While saving resources, we also achieved high efficiency construction.

Modular integrated design

To avoid affecting the operation of the airport, the sky bridge design adopts the MiC. The main bridge is divided into three prefabricated components, weighing a total of 5,000 tonnes. In the first stage, the steel structure and roof installation were carried out in Zhongshan, Guangdong, and then delivered to the restricted area of the airport in three separate parts. The second stage involves main bridge connection, and installation of curtain wall glass, roof and external wall aluminium plates, at the assembly yard in Hong Kong, overcoming restrictions of construction in the airport apron and restricted area.


We utilise BIM for design, allowing early presentation of design interface and reducing conflict during construction. This increases coordination efficiency and reduces the overall construction risk. The model adopts LOD 500 level that can integrate maintenance data, for ease of owners to conduct maintenance management.

Component transportation

Having to reduce the impact to airport operation to the lowest during construction process, the long span steel main bridge components have to be preassembled offsite, separately shipped, and hoisted and installed integrally after arriving at the site. We specially used self-propelled modular tractors (SPMT), to roll prefabricated components on and off barges, and shipped from Zhongshan pier to Hong Kong International Airport assembly site in three separate parts. As the pier at the airport western shore has a lower bearing capacity and shallow seabed, it brought great difficulty to transportation work. To cooperate the needs of the airport operation, we had to finish main bridge transportation, hoisting, alignment, permanent connecting and installation of remaining aluminium plates and curtain glass walls in nine days. Moreover, the transportation of the main bridge had to be finished during early hours when the north runway is out of service, to avoid affecting the operation of the airport. Therefore, we had to conduct multiple computer simulations and onsite inspections for the SPMT path, to avoid colliding with any facilities on the taxiway. Finally, we successfully completed all transportation process with breakthrough efficiency.

Offsite reinforcement fixing

This is the first project that the Hong Kong International Airport adopted off site reinforcement fixing service. By doing so, it can improve quality control, reduce wear and tear, shorten material testing time, and reduce construction land use, which greatly increases resource efficiency and achieves sustainable construction standards.

Large hoisting system

The main bridge components including the roof, glass curtain walls and aluminium plates, weigh a total of around 5,000 tonnes. Due to geographical and time constraints, the airport apron does not have enough space to build temporary construction. Therefore, we broke through tradition, abandoned traditional winch hoisting method, and adopted large hydraulic systems in installing the main bridge. Under guidance of auxiliary lateral large hydraulic system on the top of the pier, we accurately positioned and welded the bottom of the main bridge and embedded base together as a whole, utilising hoisting technology to connect the main bridge with the tower.

We successfully finished works, such as main bridge transportation, positioning, alignment, hoisting, adjusting, and fixed welding, in January 2020, using only 4 days with minimal installation errors. This is Hong Kong’s first attempt in adopting large hoisting technology to conduct main bridge lifting. This technology solved geographical and time constraints, allowing us to safely and efficiently finished hoisting at the airport apron.