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Hong Kong’s Third Runway Takes Off

The Hong Kong International Airport’s (HKIA) expansion to a third runway system (3RS) gets well and truly underway as of this year. This HK$141.5 billion major project is more than just an additional runway, instead being closer to building a new airport adjacent to the existing one.

Project Background

Construction is expected to commence this year, with completion scheduled for 2024. In addition to constructing the new, 3.8km runway and 15km of associated taxiways, the project also involves:

  • Reclaiming 650 hectares of land north of the airport island, using non-dredge methods
  • Building a new passenger building with a floor area of 280,000m², including a new Integrated Airport Control Centre (IAC) to replace the existing facility
  • Reconfiguring the existing northern runway
  • Expanding the existing Terminal 2
  • Building a new 2.6km passenger transport system to connect the new passenger building to Terminal 2
  • Constructing a new baggage handling system, also linked to Terminal 2, and
  • Building other associated airport infrastructure required for these new buildings, such as tunnels, roads, and ancillary

 Contracts to be Awarded

The first sets of contracts are currently out to tender and due for award imminently. The tentative contract programme includes:


Works Section

Prequalification Invitation (Indicative)

Indicative Contract Award

3RS-Specific Contracts

Eastern Vehicular Tunnel Advance Works

Q1 2018

Q3 2018

Third Runway and Associated Works

Q1 2018 (including ECI)

Q4 2018 – Q1 2019

Construction Support Facilities

Q2 2018

Q4 2018

New Integrated Airport Control Centres (Building and Civils Works)

Q2 2018


New Integrated Airport Control System

Q3 2018 (open tender)

Tunnels on the New Reclamation

Q3 2018

Specialist Systems for Third Runway

Q4 2018 (open tender)

Terminal 2 Expansion Works

Q4 2018 (including ECI)

New Works Within Existing Infrastructure

Construction of Cheong Tat Road Roundabout

Q1 2018 (open tender)

Q2 2018

North Departures Immigration Hall Expansion

Q1 2018 (open tender)

Q3 2018

Intermodal Transfer Terminal Building

Q2 2018 (open tender)

Q4 2018

Enabling Works for 6-car Train Operation

Q2 2018 (open tender)

Q3 2018

Midfield Temporary Stands Upgrading Works

Q4 2018 (prequalification)

Q2 2019

Contract Specifics

A range of enhancements have been incorporated on these target cost contracts, such as:

  • Reduced bond on many projects
  • Reduced retention on some contracts
  • Contractor’s Innovation mechanism, sharing savings equally between the contractor and client
  • Delay resolution initiatives, including Dispute Resolution Advisors and Early Neutral Evaluations

It is anticipated that the designs will take advantage of prefabricated and modular construction techniques, to allow for quicker construction. In addition, contractors will be required to utilise BIM for the entire project, from construction phasing and simulation to the handover of the as-built model. A great deal of emphasis is placed on the need for an experienced and adequate BIM team from the beginning of the contract.

Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) is expected to be required from an early stage on some contracts, and the Airport Authority (AA) have expressed their interest in obtaining feedback from the industry on the most appropriate and efficient construction methods. With the reclaimed land only accessible by sea during construction, this expansive project promises to be an interesting challenge for the successful bidders.

High-Calibre Staff Required

With this level of complexity, experienced staff are going to be in high demand. The first contracts are due to be awarded this month, so we’ll soon see an increased need for project managers, engineers, quantity surveyors, commercial managers and site staff as these contracts start to mobilise.

If you are interested in working on one of the largest airport expansions in Asia, register your CV with us to keep up to date with the latest vacancies.




Richard Poulter
Recruitment Director, Hong Kong
I am responsible for the recruitment business in Hong Kong, Asia, and the Middle East. I was a civil engineer and project manager for 15 years before becoming a construction industry recruiter in 2004. I am based in the Hong Kong office and excel at placing professionals in engineering, project management, planning and HSEQ/risk.
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Email: richard@maximrecruitment.com

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