HOUSE-MOVING ON a gigantic scale has just begun in Hong Kong to shift the contents of the existing Kai Tak International Airport to the new facility Chek Lap Kok which opens on 6 July.
Everything at the old airport, one of the world's busiest, must be moved, from emergency fire wagons and aircraft maintenance facilities to the ten of thousands of ashtrays and teaspoons in the terminal buildings.
The giant move will be in five phases. An initial non-essential equipment move has begun already and three weeks before the opening a 'main move' will shift items like aircraft mobile steps.
But much must remain in use until after the last flight from Kai Tak at around 11.30pm on 5 July, before being moved before first aircraft movements the next day at the new airport. Most essential is the emergency fire service and its wagons. Other non-essential equipment follows and the complex operation finishes with a missed items roundup.
Major Hong Kong movers and transport firms have been mobilised for the event which will use road and water transport, and of course air - not least for the parked planes which must be in position for flights the next day.
Adrian Greeman in Hong Kong