Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge: Plane Spotter Paradise

Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge: Plane Spotter Paradise

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I just passed through Hong Kong Airport (HKG) for the first time in years (since before the pandemic). Hong Kong has long been one of my favorite airports in the world, but a new amenity really takes it to the next level for us aviation geeks.

The basics of Hong Kong’s Sky Bridge

In late 2022, Hong Kong International Airport opened the Sky Bridge, which was intended to improve the passenger experience. The Sky Bridge links Terminal 1 (T1) with the Terminal 1 Satellite Concourse (T1S). Those satellite gates actually aren’t new, but previously a bus ride was required in order to access them, which obviously wasn’t ideal. The Sky Bridge makes it much easier to get between the two gate areas.

This is a 200 meter long, 20 meter wide enclosed bridge, which allows passengers to get between concourses by walking above the aircraft taxiway. The bridge is 28 meters above the ground, so that all aircraft (including the Airbus A380) can pass underneath it.

Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge

First let’s talk about the logistics. When you’re in Terminal 1, just walk down the main stretch of the concourse.

Hong Kong Airport Terminal 1

After going past several gates, you’ll see signage pointing in the direction of gates 13-22, which are the new gates that can be accessed via the Sky Bridge.

Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge signage
Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge entrance

You’ll then need to take either the elevator or two separate sets of escalators up to the Sky Bridge (yes, it’s so high up that two sets of escalators are needed).

Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge escalator

Start enjoying the views as you go up the escalator, because you get a cool vantage point from early on.

Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge views

Then you’ll find yourself in the actual Sky Bridge, which also has an automated walkway.

Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge

After walking 200 meters, you’ll then be able to go back down to the terminal level via two sets of escalators or one elevator ride. Below is a look at what this part of the terminal looked like. I was curious, as I had never been over here.

Hong Kong Airport Terminal 1 Satellite Concourse
Hong Kong Airport Terminal 1 Satellite Concourse

As you can see, the Sky Bridge serves an important purpose. But for those of us who like to plane spot, it’s a destination in and of itself.

Hong Kong’s Sky Bridge is heaven for aviation geeks

From looking at the above pictures, you might just assume that the airport built the Sky Bridge purely with its functional purpose in mind. Well, you’d be totally wrong. The airport clearly wants to appeal to aviation geeks with this, and they did an amazing job.

For one, the Sky Bridge features floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can enjoy views of the planes taxiing underneath. I’m pretty sure I audibly shrieked when the A350 taxied underneath the Sky Bridge, because it’s so rare (and so cool) to be able to see a plane from above.

Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge views
Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge views
Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge views
Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge views

The Sky Bridge doesn’t just have floor-to-ceiling windows, but it also has a partially glass floor, so that you can look straight down at planes as they taxi underneath.

Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge glass floor
Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge glass floor

But wait, there’s more! When you get to the other end of the Sky Bridge (prior to going down the escalator), you’ll see the Sky Deck.

Hong Kong Airport Sky Deck

This is an area specifically designed for those who want to enjoy the view. It has a place to sit, binoculars, signs explaining various features of the airport and landmarks around the airport, and even a replica display of the airport.

Hong Kong Airport Sky Deck
Hong Kong Airport Sky Deck
Hong Kong Airport Sky Deck
Hong Kong Airport Sky Deck
Hong Kong Airport Sky Deck

While I didn’t have a chance to visit it this time around, it’s worth mentioning that Plaza Premium operates a dining outlet in the Sky Bridge, named Intervals Bar. If I hadn’t been taking one for the team and trying all the food in the various lounges I visited, I would’ve totally checked this out. 😉

Hong Kong Airport Sky Bridge Intervals Bar

We’ve seen some airports try to create observation decks or cool vantage points for aviation geeks. However, the Sky Bridge at Hong Kong Airport is by far the coolest such feature I’ve ever seen.

I can’t describe how exhilarating it is to be standing on a bridge as a massive aircraft taxis right underneath, as it’s a perspective you’ll otherwise almost never get.

The only thing to be aware of is that the taxiway underneath the Sky Bridge isn’t necessarily the most active at the airport, so at times it could be 20 or so minutes between aircraft taxiing by. To me it was totally worth the wait, though, to be able to see a wide body jet taxi right underneath.

Bottom line

I’m happy I finally had the chance to check out Hong Kong Airport’s Sky Bridge, and it sure didn’t disappoint. While its primary purpose is to connect two parts of Terminal 1, for us aviation geeks it’s a destination in and of itself.

If you travel through Hong Kong Airport, I can’t recommend checking this out enough, as I’d argue it’s the coolest observation deck you’ll find at any airport. Heck, it’s probably my single favorite public part of any airport.

What do you make of Hong Kong Airport’s Sky Bridge?

Conversations (26)
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  1. T- Guest

    There are other existing tarmac bridges in the US, however this one in HK was constructed to attract the enthusiast as well. What a concept.

  2. David Guest

    Is the Sky Bridge accessible after security? Do you need a boarding pass to get to the bridge? No good if it’s just for passengers.

  3. Steve Guest

    I really don't like arriving there. The 4 sets of really slow (for HK) escalators is a slog to get from there to immigration.

  4. bhardwajs New Member

    Has anyone been able to look at sky bridge in SEA? They built one to simplify customs.

  5. Henry Guest

    Get to the sky thing earlier this month, so scared to walk on it, I have to say I had a hard time, it is so cool!

  6. Ryan W Member

    The long awaited skybridge project links the main terminal with the satellite terminal which opened more than ten years ago. Before the construction of the skybridge, the satellite terminal(the dreaded 500 gates) required a 10 min bus ride from the main terminal. This was hated by the public as it required a detour and they had to schedule time for the bus.

  7. Azamaraal Diamond

    Hope to get to Hong Kong to see the bridge.

    CX - please open up some J award flights (AS points) soon as I need a ride to Bali/Bangkok/Brisbane soon).

  8. KG3036_SS New Member

    About the T1 Satellite (Gate 13-22) at HKG:

    The building opened it's doors in 2007 - at then it was called North Satellite Concourse (NSC) and the gates are numbered as 501-510. All gates over there are designed for narrowbodies only. A bus shuttle through the main terminal and NSC 24/7 since the then management team of Hong Kong Airport wish to cut cost and determine that shuttle bus would be sufficient. Seems like you...

    About the T1 Satellite (Gate 13-22) at HKG:

    The building opened it's doors in 2007 - at then it was called North Satellite Concourse (NSC) and the gates are numbered as 501-510. All gates over there are designed for narrowbodies only. A bus shuttle through the main terminal and NSC 24/7 since the then management team of Hong Kong Airport wish to cut cost and determine that shuttle bus would be sufficient. Seems like you might not have flown out from this building in the past as most of your flights ex-HKG seems to be widebodies - means no chance of heading there.

    Skybridge was an attempt to better connect NSC to main terminal. Yet as an afterthought solution 2 gates have to be sacrificed - 1 each on the main terminal and NSC. NSC also renamed into T1 Satellite and gates are re-numbered into 13-22 at similar times when the Skybridge almost completed to reflect the enhanced connection with T1 main building.

    This name change also reduces confusion with the new Satellite building for T2 that is still under construction and would not open until early-2025 - you can see the construction site if you're seated on the left side - the building is situated between the old North runway. (Closed for reconfiguration by now) and the new runway.

  9. SMR Guest

    So sad to see what has happened to a once buzzing airport. China truly had a bright future but since the pandemic they have decided to bury themselves and anyone around them who shows the purely free market works.

    1. Mike Ericksen Guest

      Wtf are you talking about? All pandemic restrictions have been lifted and Chinese airports, including HK are crowded. Please educate yourself instead of relying on CNN and the BBC for your China news.

    2. XJP Guest

      Hello Mike Ericksen, as an appreciation of your comment, RMB¥0.50 has been deposited to your bank account. Keep up the good work and you will receive +5000 social credit.

  10. SBS Member

    If you look a bit to the side, rather than straight ahead and down, you can see planes landing and taking off on one of the runways. I think the Intervals bar and the Sky Deck are at the opposite ends of the bridge, so the views are a bit different. Intervals was deserted around 11 am local time (hey, it's an airport bar and it was 5 pm somewhere).

    Had a few hours there...

    If you look a bit to the side, rather than straight ahead and down, you can see planes landing and taking off on one of the runways. I think the Intervals bar and the Sky Deck are at the opposite ends of the bridge, so the views are a bit different. Intervals was deserted around 11 am local time (hey, it's an airport bar and it was 5 pm somewhere).

    Had a few hours there on a rather circuitous BOS-LAX-TPE-HKG-NAN-TVU itinerary :) 5 separate tickets, all (longish) connections worked out except for the habitually delayed JetBlue BOS-LAX that I had to replace last minute by a United flight. JetBlue is a nice airline, they will get you to your destination in above average comfort, usually within just a few hours of the original schedule :) Missed Ben on the Starlux flight by a couple of days.

  11. John Lee Guest

    The skybridge is inconvenient and it’s mostly for LCC aka HK express. Landing at satellites terminal means a long walk with lots of people through the bottom of skybridge before getting to immigration.

    1. Timothy Wong Guest

      You've no idea what you're talking about. UO together with HX uses the midfield concourse (gate 2xx) exclusively, CX A321 fleet is the one that primarily uses the North concourse nowadays.

      *Just landed there on CX from MNL last week.

    2. Johosofat Guest

      SkyBridge is not separated into top and bottom. Arrivals walk on the east side and departures walk on the west. You can see each other through the glass wall.

  12. lavanderialarry Guest

    DEN, LGW, LGA, SEA all have skybridges.

    The HKG market, as it existed in 2018-2019 is unlikely to ever return.

    Hong Kong is just a province of Greater China now. Singapore has displaced it is a major hub of finance.

    1. Guest Guest

      An airport is an airport.

      If you happen to be there, nothing wrong to go for a look, nothing to do with financial market.

      If other airports have them, I would love to see them too.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      LOL. People had the same ridiculous reaction to London post Brexit. "Omg omg omg, businesses are going to flee to Paris/Frankfurt/Brussels and London will be but a shriveled shadow of its former self!"

      Was there some redistribution after the 2019 riots and the post-Covid ties to the mainland? Sure. Have Singapore and Tokyo benefited from some investor discomfort fueled by political uncertainty? Yes.

      Is Hong Kong, and its airport, going to be reduced to some...

      LOL. People had the same ridiculous reaction to London post Brexit. "Omg omg omg, businesses are going to flee to Paris/Frankfurt/Brussels and London will be but a shriveled shadow of its former self!"

      Was there some redistribution after the 2019 riots and the post-Covid ties to the mainland? Sure. Have Singapore and Tokyo benefited from some investor discomfort fueled by political uncertainty? Yes.

      Is Hong Kong, and its airport, going to be reduced to some backwater? Hardly.

      Doubtful that traffic is going to be 70million+ any time soon, as it was. But they're already 60% recovered, with no signs of the month-over-month and year-over-year growth abating.

    3. D3kingg Guest

      Same with Russia. Moscow will rebound in no time. Right ?

    4. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Tough to tell if you're just trolling, or actually dumb enough to find that witty...

    5. John Guest

      @Concordeboy

      "...already 60% recovered.."

      Meanwhile Changi sped past 90% when I last checked (and probably near 100% in 4- 6 weeks time). Sydney is way past 90% as of last week. Incheon is 96% as of September. By comparison, your HK airport is positively anemic at ONLY 60%

    6. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      @John,

      Can you refresh me as to when HKG became "my" airport?

      And while you're at it, tell me when the gunshot for the race was fired... because "last I checked," I didn't say anything about comparative rate of recovery to any other airport, only that HKG was recovering after two severe upsets.

    7. footballfan Guest

      Wow, while reading this, in the back of my mind I was thinking "I THINK I saw something like this when I flew into LGA last summer." Hadn't been to NYC in ages, so it was kinda cool to see.

  13. Mike O. Guest

    I'm just glad the world is open for business again (especially that part of the world). It's been a rough couple of years especially in Hong Kong. I know it's not part of the trip report, but I would've loved to see a CX A321neo review.

  14. S Gold

    Pretty nice. DEN has something similar between the main concourse and terminal A, but obviously not as advanced or nice as this.

  15. Alvin | YTHK Diamond

    Me: HKG Skybridge is just a bridge
    Ben: It's so cool
    me: it's so cool

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Alvin | YTHK Diamond

Me: HKG Skybridge is just a bridge Ben: It's so cool me: it's so cool

4
ConcordeBoy Diamond

LOL. People had the same ridiculous reaction to London post Brexit. "Omg omg omg, businesses are going to flee to Paris/Frankfurt/Brussels and London will be but a shriveled shadow of its former self!" Was there some redistribution after the 2019 riots and the post-Covid ties to the mainland? Sure. Have Singapore and Tokyo benefited from some investor discomfort fueled by political uncertainty? Yes. Is Hong Kong, and its airport, going to be reduced to some backwater? Hardly. Doubtful that traffic is going to be 70million+ any time soon, as it was. But they're already 60% recovered, with no signs of the month-over-month and year-over-year growth abating.

3
Mike O. Guest

I'm just glad the world is open for business again (especially that part of the world). It's been a rough couple of years especially in Hong Kong. I know it's not part of the trip report, but I would've loved to see a CX A321neo review.

3
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