Hong Kong International Airport will open its new 20,000m² north satellite concourse (NSC), which will serve more than five million passengers a year, on 17 December.

The two-storey NSC is situated to the north of Terminal 1 and is equipped with ten frontal stands for narrow-bodied aircraft, while the waiting area houses retail and catering spaces.

The construction of the concourse is part of HK$4.5bn (US$580m) near-term airfield and terminal enhancement programme launched in 2006.

As per the programme, reconfiguration of the departures immigration halls and expansion of the transfer area have been complete.

The HK$1bn (US$128.9m) concourse is expected to embark and disembark more than 90% of its passengers by air bridges.

Upgrade of its baggage handling system and consolidation of two arrivals immigration halls are expected to be completed by 2011.

Preliminary studies for a midfield expansion project to handle the anticipated traffic volumes of 2020 is expected to be complete next year.