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1. The flight paths for the new Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) were developed through careful studies. In accordance with international standards and recommendations, their development took into account runway alignment, terrain environment and obstacle clearances, location of navigation aids, aircraft operating criteria, environmental consideration, airspace coordination with nearby airports, etc. Hong Kong is small in size and hilly in topography. It is not possible to design flight paths that are in compliance with international aviation safety requirements on the one hand and completely clear of all residential developments on the other. When Civil Aviation Department appointed international aviation experts to assist in the planning of the flight paths for the new airport in 1994, various factors had been taken into account, and in-depth studies were conducted before the current flight procedures were published for use.
2. The HKIA has 2 parallel runways
(commonly called the North Runway and the South Runway) which
run northeast to southwest. At present, the two runways are
normally operated in a segregated mode, i.e. the South Runway
dedicated for departures and the North Runway for arrivals
(with the exception of cargo flights and the Government Flying
Service’s aircraft which for operational reasons will
normally use the South Runway for landing). However, there
are circumstances where the airport may be operated with a
single runway, for example, in the event of runway blockage
or during scheduled maintenance periods at night.
5. The direction
in which aircraft depart from HKIA also depends upon the wind
direction. For operational reasons, aircraft generally take
off into the wind. When the wind is from the west or southwest,
aircraft will depart from HKIA initially towards the southwest
until it is about 7 nautical miles from the runway where it
will make a left turn. Depending on its destination, an aircraft
may turn towards the east and pass over Hong Kong Island and
Kowloon Peninsula, or turn towards a northerly direction,
passing over the New Territories at a relatively high altitude.