Runway redesignation has taken place at Hong Kong International Airport as the facility moves closer to a three-runway system.

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) has announced that the existing North Runway (07L/25R) at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has been re-designated as the Centre Runway (07C/25C), signifying an important milestone for the expansion of the airport into a three-runway system (3RS).

The new Third Runway, which will be put into operation in 2022, will be designated as the North Runway (07L/25R). Prior to that, the existing North Runway has to be re-designated as the Centre Runway (07C/25C) to meet ICAO requirements.

The final redesignation procedures included replacing runway designation markings and mandatory instruction markings of 07L and 25R on the runway and taxiways respectively with 07C and 25C. Movement area guidance signs on the airfield, as well as relevant equipment and procedures for HKIA’s air traffic control and airport operations control systems, were also modified. The South Runway remained in operation while the North Runway was re-designated and air traffic movements at HKIA operated smoothly throughout.

After comprehensive testing of the equipment and inspections of the runway jointly conducted by the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) and AAHK, the newly designated Centre Runway opened for operations.

The CAD has been working closely with AAHK to provide support for the runway re-designation in various aspects concerning air traffic control and aircraft take-off and landing, including modification of equipment and procedures.

Vivian Cheung, executive director, airport operations of AAHK, said, “We are pleased to see the smooth operation of re-designating the North Runway. Although the final changeover took only one night, the entire process started over a year ago, and involved meticulous planning and close communications with other runway users.”

In addition to the runway re-designation, other preparation work for the targeted commissioning of the Third Runway in 2022 will include exercises, drills, trials and documentation work. The Centre Runway will then close for reconfiguration, conducted in parallel with other works of the 3RS project, which is scheduled for completion in 2024.