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.
In this post:
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.
First let’s talk about the logistics. When you’re in Terminal 1, just walk down the main stretch of the concourse.
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.
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).
Start enjoying the views as you go up the escalator, because you get a cool vantage point from early on.
Then you’ll find yourself in the actual Sky Bridge, which also has an automated walkway.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 😉
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.
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?