- Pre-Departure Clearance Data Link Service Enhances Flight Efficiency, (4 December 2001)
- Air Passenger and Cargo Services in Winter Season, (2 November 2001)
- Enhanced security measures at HKIA, (27 September 2001)
- Helicopter passengers to pay departure tax on October 1, (21 September 2001)
- Flight Services between Hong Kong and Canada Resume, (14 September 2001)
- US Airspace System to Resume Normal Operation, (13 September 2001)
- Closure of Canadian Airports, (12 September 2001)
- US Incident (3), (12 September 2001)
- US Incident (2), (12 September 2001)
- DGCA Congratulates Cadet Pilot Graduates in Australia, (24 August 2001)
- Airship Operation in Hong Kong, (15 August 2001)
- Air Traffic Control Occurrence, (20 June 2001)
- Director-General of Civil Aviation Visits Chinese Aviation Authorities, (13 May 2001)
- CAD's Dangerous Goods Seminar Well Received by Air Industry, (4 May 2001)
- Review on Hong Kong's Air Traffic Control System, (23 April 2001)
- CAD's Datalink Project Enhances Flight Efficiency, (19 April 2001)
- Opportunities for Air Services Expansion Abundant, (11 April 2001)
- Flight Movements to Break Record in Easter, (8 April 2001)
- Increased Passenger and Cargo Services Offered by Airlines, (28 March 2001)
- Improper Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Air an Offence, (25 March 2001)
- Flight Movements to Break Record in Lunar New Year, (14 January 2001)


Pre-Departure Clearance Data Link Service Enhances Flight Efficiency, (4 December 2001)

4 December 2001

The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) today (December 4) begins to implement a new data link service for delivery of Pre-Departure Clearance (PDC) at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA). Hong Kong is among the first in the Asia Pacific region to use this new service to enhance flight efficiency.

Speaking at the implementation ceremony held at the Backup Air Traffic Control Tower, Mr Albert Lam, Director-General of Civil Aviation highlighted that the new service gave an alternative means of communicating pre-departure air traffic control clearances between pilots and air traffic controllers.

"The new service could reduce the workload of pilots and air traffic controllers and enable them to manage their time better; reduce congestion in radio channel; and enhance data integrity and operational efficiency.

"With the implementation of clearance data link service, the provision of pre-departure clearance information in respect of the departure routes, altitude restrictions and cruising levels etc., which are used to be provided through radio communication, can now be transmitted via data link for display or print out in the cockpit to reduce pilots' workload," Mr Lam said.

CAD started technical trials on PDC delivery via data link with the three local airlines, namely Cathay Pacific Airways (CPA), Hong Kong Dragon Airlines and Air Hong Kong in September 2000. With the successful conclusion of the technical trials, operational trials commenced since October 2000 again with satisfactory results. An average of more than 70 departing flights are now using the data link service, which represents about 30 per cent of the total flights departing at HKIA every day.

"Given the encouraging trials results and favourable feedback received from the pilots, airlines and air traffic controllers, CAD has decided to put the clearance delivery via data link into operational use starting today," Mr Lam added.

The data link service represents the second operational system of the 18-year long Satellite-based Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) Project undertaken by CAD since 1999 to enhance flight efficiency and further improve safety.

The PDC data link service is at present operational in airports in Korea, Australia, Denmark, France and USA. It is also on trials in Belgium and UK.

Also present at today's implementation ceremony were Captain Jeff Turner, General Manager Operations of CPA, and Mr David Fung, Regional Manager - Asia, AIRCOM, SITA, which is the network provider for the delivery of PDC messages.

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Air Passenger and Cargo Services in Winter Season

2 November 2001

In the new winter season of 2001 (October 28, 2001 to March 30, 2002), 86 more scheduled air passenger and cargo services are offered by airlines per week, while 136 services are suspended, thus making a slight reduction of 50 scheduled services to and from Hong Kong per week. It is expected, however, that extra services will be provided by airlines during the coming Christmas and Chinese New Year holidays, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department said today (November 2).

Most of the additional passenger services operate between Hong Kong and cities in the Mainland, such as Shanghai, Fuzhou and Hangzhou, and in the Asia Pacific Region, such as Manila. Starting from the new season, Lufthansa German Airlines, Air New Zealand and Swissair provide daily passenger services from Hong Kong to Munich, Auckland and Zurich respectively.

Three new destinations - Sapporo in Japan, Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, and Helsinki in Finland are available in the winter season. Cathay Pacific Airways is the operator of the new scheduled passenger services to Sapporo and Riyadh, while the services to Helsinki will be operated by Finnair, a new passenger carrier providing scheduled services to and from Hong Kong. Another new carrier Cebu Pacific will also introduce scheduled passenger services between Hong Kong and Manila in the new season.

As far as cancellations are concerned, the destinations with the greatest number of reduction of scheduled passenger services are Singapore, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Sydney and Bangkok. Alitalia, Ansett International Ltd and Royal Air Cambodge cease operating scheduled passenger services to and from Hong Kong. However, Alitalia maintains its scheduled cargo services to and from Hong Kong.

The net cancellation of scheduled services in the winter season represents about 2.7 per cent reduction in the number of flight movements at the Hong Kong International Airport. Hong Kong remains a major international and regional aviation center and a gateway to the Mainland. At present, a total of 64 airlines offer scheduled passenger and cargo services from Hong Kong to about 130 destinations worldwide, and there are over 3,700 flight movements per week.

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Enhanced security measures at HKIA

27 September 2001

Starting from tomorrow (September 28), the carriage of any knife, knife-like object or bladed item into the aircraft cabin and the Enhanced Security Restricted Area (ESRA) of the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) will be banned

The sale of these items at all airport shops and the use of table knives with blade in catering outlets within the ESRA will also be banned. Plastic knives, however, are permitted for meal services.

The Director-General of Civil Aviation, on the advice of the Aviation Security Committee (ASC), has issued two Security Directions to this effect under the Aviation Security Ordinance (Cap. 494).

The ASC is chaired by the Security Bureau and comprises representatives from the Civil Aviation Department, Police, Airport Authority (AA) and airlines.

A Government spokesman said that the directions, issued to the AA and airline operators registered in Hong Kong or operating passenger flights from the HKIA, require the removal of these items once detected at the airport security checkpoints.

"The new requirement covers all passenger flights operating from Hong Kong regardless of destination and is made in response to the new threat situation concerning international civil aviation.

"This can help promote the safety of international civil aviation operating from the HKIA."
The spokesman assured the travelling public that the new requirement was introduced for general enhancement of security.

"It does not mean that the HKIA has become the target of terrorist acts," he emphasised.
"Similar restriction has been implemented by the US Federal Aviation Administration for all US-bound flights earlier on and by some other airports in the region," he added.
"It is our established practice to monitor the security arrangements constantly to ensure that they continue to serve us well.

"We shall continue to monitor the situation and liaise with our overseas counterparts closely to ensure that our aviation security is maintained at the highest standards," the spokesman said.

If passengers do wish to carry these items, they may put them into their check-in baggage.

For more information, passengers may check with the airline concerned in advance or visit the website of the Civil Aviation Department (www.info.gov.hk/cad(Open with new window)) under the "Information for Travellers" Section or the Airport Authority Hong Kong (www.hkairport.com(Open with new window)).

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Helicopter passengers to pay departure tax on October 1

21 September 2001

Passengers, who depart from Hong Kong by helicopter at the Heliport at the Hong Kong - Macau Ferry Terminal, will have to pay the Air Passenger Departure Tax (APDT) of $80 from 1 October 2001.

A Government spokesman said today (September 21) that the proposal to expand the tax base of the APDT to cover all helicopter passengers was one of the revenue proposals in the 2001-02 Budget. At present, helicopter passengers departing Hong Kong at the Hong Kong International Airport already have to pay an APDT.

The Revenue (No.2) Ordinance 2001, which contains the legislative amendment on this revenue proposal, was passed by LegCo in June this year. A commencement notice to give effect to the proposal has been gazetted today (September 21).

"We consider it appropriate to bring into effect the expansion of the tax to cover helicopter passengers on October 1, taking into account the need to allow the helicopter industry time to make the necessary arrangements, and to align this commencement date with that of the revised level of APDT," the spokesman said.

"This commencement date has been accepted by the helicopter industry," he added.
The new level of ADPT at $80 under the Revenue (No.2) Ordinance 2001 will also take effect on October 1. The commencement notice was earlier gazetted on July 20.

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Flight Services between Hong Kong and Canada Resume

14 September 2001

Following the notification by the civil aviation authority in Canada that restrictions imposed earlier on takeoffs and landings are lifted, passenger aircraft have begun to depart Hong Kong for destinations in the country, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) said today (September 14).

CAD provides air traffic control services to aircraft operating in and out of Hong Kong around the clock. Flights departing for Canada are being handled in an orderly manner and in accordance with established practices. Air traffic operation remains smooth and normal.

Passengers are again advised to check with their airlines on the latest flight status before proceeding to the Hong Kong International Airport.

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US Airspace System to Resume Normal Operation

13 September 2001

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States of America has notified the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) that the United States Airspace System will resume normal operations with effect from 11 pm (Hong Kong time) today (September 13), a spokesman for the Department said.

However, it is noted that specific airports may not have resumed operations by the above time frame.

CAD provides air traffic control services to aircraft operating in and out of Hong Kong around the clock. Flights departing for the US will be handled in an orderly manner and in accordance with established practices.

Passengers are again advised to check with their airlines on the latest flight status before proceeding to the Hong Kong International Airport.

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Closure of Canadian Airports

12 September 2001

The civil aviation authority in Canada has notified the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) that all airports in the country are closed to commercial aircraft, a spokesman for the Department said this morning (September 12).

CAD will make further announcement once it has received notification that the above restrictions are lifted. Passengers are advised to check with their airlines on the latest flight status before proceeding to the Hong Kong International Airport.

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US Incident (3)

12 September 2001

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States of America has notified the Civil Aviation Department that all airports in the country are closed, a spokesman for the Department said this morning (September 12).

CAD will make further announcement once it has received notification that the above restrictions are lifted. Passengers are advised to check with their airlines on the latest flight status before proceeding to the Hong Kong International Airport.

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US Incident (2)

12 September 2001

A Government spokesman said early this (September 12) morning that all flights bound for the US taking off from the Hong Kong International Airport have been cancelled. The Airport Police and the Aviation Security Company have stepped up security at the airport.

As at now, a total of six flights have been affected, including four passenger flights and two cargo flights.

The spokesman also confirmed that the Emergency Monitoring and Support Centre has come into operation and is closely monitoring the situation.

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DGCA Congratulates Cadet Pilot Graduates in Australia

24 August 2001

Mr Albert Lam, Director-General of Civil Aviation today (August 24) attended the graduation ceremony of the first batch of cadet pilots who have successfully completed a training programme run by a Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) approved flying school in Adelaide, Australia.

The school named BAE Systems Flight Training (Australia) Pty. Ltd. is the first overseas flying training organisation granted with the CAD approval to conduct professional pilot training courses of an approved syllabus which will enable the pilot trainees, upon course completion, to satisfy CAD's licensing requirements for the direct issue of a Hong Kong Commercial Pilot Licence with an Instrument Rating (HK CPL/IR). The approval covers a period of two years.

The 10 cadet pilots who graduated today are all Hong Kong young people selected by Cathay Pacific Airways (CPA) to join its Cadet Pilot Programme. Mr Lam wished them every success in their future endeavours.

"In order to facilitate Hong Kong airlines' efforts to increase the annual output of cadet pilots by conducting more training courses, CAD put in the necessary manpower and resources to introduce the CAD 509 approval scheme in early 2000. It is a scheme under which a suitably qualified flying training organisation, in or outside Hong Kong, may be approved by CAD to conduct ab-initio commercial pilot training courses for the direct issue of a HK CPL/IR.

"BAE Systems, already well known in aviation industry as an elite pilot training provider, approached us in 2000 for an approval. After screening all the necessary technical documents and conducting a series of on-site inspections and audits on BAE's facilities, aircraft and instructors at Adelaide, CAD was satisfied with the highly professional standards of the training staff and the well-run facilities at BAE. A well-structured training curriculum was tailored for a HK CPL course.

"In June 2000, BAE became the first flying training organisation in the world to be granted with the CAD 509 approval. Subject to regular audits, CAD will continue to approve BAE as a suitable CPL training institute," Mr Lam said at the graduation ceremony.

Prior to the grant of the CAD 509 approval to BAE Systems, all CPA and Dragonair cadet courses were based on an Australian Commercial Pilot Licence syllabus. After achieving the Australian Commercial Pilot Licence, the cadets would need to undergo further flight and theory training with BAE Systems in order to pass the Hong Kong flight tests and ground examinations for the purpose of converting their Australian licence into HK CPL/IR.

The licensing requirements are streamlined as a result of the elimination of the licence conversion process. The courses could be conducted in a more cost effective and timely manner. Cadets would benefit from a better structured curriculum because they do not need to spend extra time and effort to cope with additional flight tests and ground examinations.

Before attending the CPA cadet pilots graduation ceremony in Adelaide, Mr Lam also visited the General Flying Services (GFS) in Melbourne yesterday (August 23), and discussed with the GFS representatives on various issues pertaining to the training of CAD officers. GFS currently provides light aircraft flying training to CAD officers, including Student Air Traffic Control Officers up to Private Pilot Licence (PPL) standard. Such training would widen the student controllers' general aviation knowledge, enhance their alertness, anticipation and decision making in handling difficult or emergency situations.

Mr Lam will return to Hong Kong tomorrow (August 25).

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Airship Operation in Hong Kong

15 August 2001

In response to media enquiries today (August 15), the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) said that it had, for the first time, granted approval to an airship to operate in Hong Kong from August 16 for three months for aerial advertising, promotion and in connection with a fund raising event.

The airship, which measures about 41 metres (length) X 13 metres (height) X 11 metres (width), is allowed to fly over Victoria Harbour and its adjacent waters at an altitude of about 1,000 feet. It will be moored at the former Kai Tak Airport, and will land and take off from the mid section of the Kai Tak promontory.

The operator has demonstrated that it will be able to comply with all the relevant safety standards, and CAD has approved the operation.

An airship is a lighter than air aircraft. It has twin engines and uses "helium", a non-flammable gas, as a lifting gas which is contained in a large envelope. The airship which will operate in Hong Kong has operated in various cities around the world, including Los Angeles, New York City, London and Singapore.

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Air Traffic Control Occurrence

20 June 2001

In response to press enquiries today (June 20) on an air traffic control occurrence which happened this afternoon, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department stressed that flight safety was not compromised and that there was no risk of collision between the two aircraft involved.

The occurrence happened at about 12:30pm at approximately 110 nautical miles east of the Hong Kong International Airport. The aircraft involved were an Airbus 320 departing from Hong Kong to Shanghai while the other was a Boeing 777 from Seoul to Hong Kong.

At their closest, the vertical distance between the two aircraft was 700 feet and the horizontal distance was 2.5 nautical miles. The standard separation required was 1,000 feet or 5 nautical miles. Both pilots had the other aircraft in sight well before the separation was reduced to below the required standard. Despite the technical loss of separation, there was no risk of collision.

"The air traffic controller has given traffic information regarding the other aircraft to both pilots, and has taken corrective action to ensure safe operation before the separation was reduced to below the standard.

"The Department is committed to providing air traffic control services of the highest standard in order to ensure a safe, orderly and expeditious air traffic control service," the spokesman said.

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Director-General of Civil Aviation Visits Chinese Aviation Authorities

13 May 2001

Mr Albert Lam, Director-General of Civil Aviation and two Assistant Directors-General will depart for Beijing tomorrow (May 14) for a visit of the senior officials of the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) to discuss issues of mutual interest.

During the four-day visit of CAAC, Mr Lam and Mr Norman Lo, Assistant Director-General (Air Traffic Management) and Mr Y K Leung, Assistant Director-General (Flight Standards) will meet Mr Bao Peide and Captain Yang Yuan-yuan, Vice Ministers of CAAC, as well as the senior management of the Air Traffic Management Bureau, the Air Safety Office, the Flight Standard Department and the Aircraft Airworthiness Department. The purposes of the visit are to review the working relationship of the two parties throughout the years, discuss aviation issues that are of mutual interest, and to explore means to strengthen cooperation in future.

On air traffic management, Mr Lam will discuss with CAAC officials on flight calibration arrangements, refinement of airspace layout and air traffic control procedures in the Pearl River Delta, revision of the airspace and air route structure over the South China Sea, and implementation of the Reduced Vertical Separation Minima in the Asia Pacific Region. The latter two subjects are coordinated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

On flight safety, the two sides will discuss cooperation in accident and incident investigations, and exchange expertise on the subject. They will also share their experience on the safety oversight audit conducted by the ICAO.

Discussion topics on the flight standards field will include the application procedures for Air Operator's Certificate, flight crew licensing, and the safety of extended range operations.

The airworthiness issues will, on the other hand, cover matters on aircraft airworthiness standards, the approval of maintenance organisations, licensing of maintenance personnel, and the allocation of aircraft registration marks.

The visit will end on Thursday (May 17). Mr Albert Lam will also give a courtesy call to the Office of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in Beijing.

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CAD's Dangerous Goods Seminar Well Received by Air Industry

4 May 2001

As part of the Civil Aviation Department (CAD)'s continuous efforts to ensure the safe carriage of dangerous goods by air, the Department held a "Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods in Hong Kong" seminar today (May 4).

The seminar aims at promoting the awareness of dangerous goods, reinforcing the understanding of the requirements and regulations for transporting such items, and facilitating the development of better handling logistics by the air transportation industry.

Speakers today included dangerous goods experts from the International Air Transport Association and the Northwest Airlines. The seminar attracted about 400 attendees from the industry, including airlines, air cargo shippers and freight forwarders, airport cargo terminal operators and the Airport Authority Hong Kong. Senior officials from the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China and representatives from the Macau Civil Aviation Authority were also present.

CAD, being the law enforcer and regulator of the air transportation of dangerous goods in Hong Kong, regards safety and compliance as its primary concerns.

"Our Department is dedicated towards keeping the risks associated with the air transportation of dangerous goods to a minimum by ensuring proper packaging, compliance with international regulations and standards as well as closely monitoring the industry operations but at the same time ensuring the needs of the public are met," Mr Alex Au, the Acting Director-General of Civil Aviation said at the opening ceremony of the seminar.

Noting that all undeclared dangerous goods are potential threats to aviation safety, Mr Au urged every member of the industry to be vigilant and deal with dangerous goods properly on a daily basis.

"We have to work closely together to make it safe for those who fly and for those who provide supporting services on the ground. We all count on each other to make the journeys free of mishandled dangerous goods," Mr Au added.

On the passenger side, Mr Au said that CAD would distribute an educational leaflet starting this month to promote air passengers' awareness and understanding of the importance of proper handling of dangerous goods.

"Close cooperation amongst all parties concerned will certainly lead to enhancement in safety and efficiency for such carriage," Mr Au concluded.

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Review on Hong Kong's Air Traffic Control System

23 April 2001

The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) monitors the air traffic control (ATC) system in Hong Kong regularly. After more than two years of operation at the new Hong Kong International Airport, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) considered that it was timely to conduct a more comprehensive review on Hong Kong's ATC system and hence appointed the United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UKCAA) in December 2000 to conduct such a review. The objectives are to identify areas for improvement and to recommend specific follow-up actions as appropriate.

"The UKCAA Review Team has concluded that the Hong Kong ATC system is safe and of a high standard," a Government spokesman said today (April 23).

In order to ensure the maintenance of a high standard to meet growing demand, the Review Team has made a number of recommendations to further enhance the ATC system in several areas, such as management and administration, controller standards, training for ATC, incident investigation and so on. CAD intends to implement the recommendations as appropriate in phases between now and end 2002.

"Indeed some recommendations cover the Department's on-going improvement measures, and have been taken on board. These include regular review of ATC procedures and improved communication between operational controllers.

"The Department will follow up with the introduction of a safety management system, which will help to ensure that safety principles are followed systematically in ATC operation. The Department is also actively pursuing with other initiatives concerning safety regulation, watch-based management, controller competence and ATC training etc., in the light of the review findings," the spokesman added.

"On incident investigation, a new section independent from the ATC services providing section will be set up to oversee all investigations. In the event of a serious ATC incident, an independent investigation team will be set up in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation Annex 13 requirements and the Hong Kong Civil Aviation (Investigation of Accidents) Regulations. The Team will comprise aviation experts (who are mostly professional pilots and engineers with special investigation training) and representatives from relevant outside organisations," he stressed.

"The Review Team has made very useful recommendations to assist CAD in maintaining state-of-the-art ATC services. CAD is responding positively to these recommendations. Its follow-up actions will enable Hong Kong to continue to provide high-standard ATC services and to cater for the rapid growth in air traffic, " he said.

CAD gave a briefing to the Legislative Council Panel on Economic Services today.

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CAD's Datalink Project Enhances Flight Efficiency

19 April 2001

The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) today (April 19) begins to implement the Air Traffic Service (ATS) air/ground datalink application for the provision of the Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) and Meteorological Information For Aircraft In Flight (VOLMET) within the Hong Kong Flight Information Region/Area of Responsibility.

"With the new Digital-ATIS (D-ATIS) and Digital-VOLMET (D-VOLMET) services, the dissemination of airfield and meteorological information, which are used to be available via radio broadcast only, can now be printed out inside the cockpit to reduce pilot's workload of manually copying the voice broadcast information. Other major operational benefits of the new services include guaranteed data accuracy, no time constraint for pilots to get the information and no coverage limitation," Mr Albert Lam, Director-General of Civil Aviation said when officiating at a ceremony which marked the commencement of the new services.

"The ATIS and VOLMET systems installed at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) have been upgraded with datalink capability and dedicated digital communication links have been set up with the SITA Aircom Service to enable airlines to access Hong Kong ATIS and VOLMET service via both Very High Frequency (VHF) and Satellite datalink," he said.

CAD has been providing the Hong Kong ATIS and VOLMET services by using a dual voice synthesised broadcasting system. With the implementation of the new services, the same ATIS and VOLMET messages are also available via datalink. Pilots can elect to receive the Hong Kong ATIS and VOLMET voice broadcast when the aircraft is within the VHF and High Frequency/Medium Frequency (HF/MF) coverages respectively, or retrieve the full script of the ATIS and VOLMET broadcast from their airborne data communications system via the SITA Aircom network.

The new D-ATIS and D-VOLMET facilities represent the first operational system of the 18-year long Satellite-based Communications, Navigation and Surveillance/Air Traffic Management Systems project undertaken by CAD since 1999 to enhance flight efficiency and further improve safety.

CAD has conducted operational trials on the D-ATIS and D-VOLMET services since May 1999. During the trial operations, the performance of D-ATIS and D-VOLMET was satisfactory and reliable with positive feedback received from the pilots, the International Air Transport Association and airlines.

After the D-ATIS and D-VOLMET commencement ceremony co- chaired by Mr Albert Lam and Mr C Y Lam, acting Director of the Hong Kong Observatory, Mr Albert Lam noted that CAD had also further improved its services with the availability of the Backup Air Traffic Control Complex (BATCX) and the Precision Runway Monitor (PRM) system at the top of the BATCX.

The BATCX, which has been equipped with all essential ATC facilities, can support about 30 per cent ATC handling capacity to maintain a safe and orderly flow of air traffic in case of fire or serious mishaps affecting the main ATC facilities. Since January 2000, a total of 11 familiarisation training sessions for ATC staff and two drill exercises have been conducted. When the backup facilities are activated, air traffic controllers can be re-deployed quickly to man the backup center and tower, thus bringing the disturbance to normal air traffic to a minimum level.

Installed at the top of the BATCX is the PRM system, which is designed to monitor approaches to and departures from parallel runways so as to enhance flight safety. The system is capable of showing highly accurate aircraft positions together with their projected tracks on high resolution colour displays. It also indicates aircraft turns as they occur, detects course deviations, predicts blunders before they happen, and provides audible and visual alerts to air traffic controllers for early resolution of air traffic conflicts. HKIA is the fourth airport in the world to install such a system, and CAD has begun to use the PRM since late March 2001.

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Opportunities for Air Services Expansion Abundant

11 April 2001

Director-General of Civil Aviation, Mr Albert Lam, today (April 11) said that there are plenty of opportunities for airlines to expand their air services to and from Hong Kong, particularly commuter services between Hong Kong and other cities in the southern China which would also perform the function as feeder services to connect with international services to and from Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).

Speaking at a luncheon of the British Chamber of Commerce, Mr Lam noted that with the anticipated entry by China into the World Trade Organisation, the development of Western China, the liberal air services policy of the Government, the initiatives introduced by the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) and the support provided by other organisations and companies, opportunities for air services expansion are abundant.

"Among the aircraft now operating at HKIA, 24 per cent are narrow-bodied aircraft. There may be more and more smaller aircraft operating at HKIA in a few years time if the commuter or feeder services materialise, resulting in more aircraft movements and a greater demand for runway capacity.

"On the opposite extreme, it is possible that new larger aircraft, such as Airbus A380, would in a few years time be introduced on heavy routes to and from capacity constrained airports such as London Heathrow or Tokyo Narita. This A380 aircraft has a twin aisle twin deck passenger cabin and can carry between 500 to 800 passengers depending on the configuration and the amenities to be provided on the aircraft. The HKIA is already well prepared for the handling of this large size aircraft during the design stage.

"Another new development is that Boeing has announced its plan to develop a faster, longer-range aircraft than can fly at speeds close to the speed of sound (i.e. Mach 0.95 or faster) over extended ranges. This new aircraft will open a new chapter in commercial aviation as it provides not only a higher speed and longer range but also the comfort of flight at higher altitudes and the environmental benefits of quieter landings and takeoffs, and in the latter sense it will provide benefits not only to the airlines and passengers but also to the communities living near the airports. This is indeed a very exciting development," Mr Lam said.

Mr Lam also noted that it is now possible to fly Hong Kong-New York non-stop in about 16 hours. "It is no doubt a growing trend that as faster and more efficient ultra long haul aircraft become available, more and more key routes in the world which are presently served with intermediate stops would eventually be replaced by non-stop services," he said.

Despite this new development, Mr Lam said that the impact on Hong Kong would be minor so long as Hong Kong maintains its position as one of the major aviation hubs for the Asia/Pacific Region and provides convenient connecting services to other cities in the region.

"With the concerted efforts of the Government, the airlines, the AAHK, and all other organisations providing support to the air transport industry, I am confident that Hong Kong's air transport industry will continue to prosper in the years to come," Mr Lam concluded.

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Flight Movements to Break Record in Easter

8 April 2001

A record high of flight movements at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is expected to be achieved on April 13, Good Friday, when 659 aircraft are scheduled to arrive and depart.

"The number of flight movements expected on Good Friday represents an increase of more than 22 per cent when compared with an average of 540 movements a day," a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department said today (April 8).

As at today, 19 airlines have submitted requests to operate 187 additional scheduled and ad-hoc charter flights (i.e. a total of 374 flight movements) from April 9 to 22, with most applications falling on the period between April 13 (Good Friday) and 16 (Easter Monday). The number of total flight movements on the first and the last days of the period are expected to be 659 and 630 respectively. All the requests received so far have been accepted.

Airlines that have already submitted requests plan to operate flights to 16 destinations in the Mainland, 10 destinations in Southeast Asia and eight destinations in Northeast Asia. Taipei is the most popular destination, followed by Sanya, Guangzhou and Shanghai.

"The total number of additional flight slot requests represents a 12.2 per cent reduction over last year's Easter holidays. This may be due to the fact that the number of scheduled services in the summer season of 2001 has increased by 14.4 per cent when compared with that of last year, thus makes it less necessary to operate additional flights. Moreover, there are school holidays in March and other public holidays in late April and early May this year. The travel demand may therefore have spread among these holidays," the spokesman said.

The previous record high of flight movements in a single day occurred on January 24, 2001, which was the Lunar New Year's Day. A total of 645 flight movements took place at the HKIA on that day.

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Increased passenger and cargo services offered by airlines

28 March 2001

Eighty-two more scheduled passenger and cargo services to and from Hong Kong are offered by airlines on a weekly basis in the summer season of 2001 (March 25 to October 27), a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department said today (March 28).

In the new season, 98 more scheduled passenger and cargo services are offered per week, but 16 services are also suspended, thus making the net increase to 82. Most of the new passenger services operate between Hong Kong and cities in the Mainland and in the Asia-Pacific Region.

A new destination - Munich in Germany is available in the summer season. Scheduled passenger services to the city are operated by Lufthansa German Airlines. At present, a total of 63 airlines offer scheduled passenger and cargo services from Hong Kong to about 130 destinations worldwide.

"With the additional number of scheduled services offered by airlines, the total number of flight movements at the Hong Kong International Airport has increased to more than 3,800 per week. The number of flights handled by our air traffic controllers per hour has gone up from 45 to 47 during the busy hours from March 25 onwards to cope with the higher volume of traffic," the spokesman said.

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Improper Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Air an Offence

25 March 2001

A shipper who had been charged last year for contravening the Dangerous Goods (Consignment by Air) (Safety) Regulations was convicted and fined in January, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) said today (March 25). He stressed that dangerous goods must be properly handled for air carriage, and failure to do so may pose a serious threat to the passengers and the aircraft, and it is also a criminal offence.

On May 8, 2000, Wong Tat Metal Manufactory failed to declare 100 carton boxes of lighters with flammable gas, which are classified as Class 2 dangerous goods, for air carriage from Hong Kong to Singapore. The company falsely described the lighters as "metal football stand" and none of them was properly classified, packed, marked, labelled and documented.Following an investigation, CAD officers stopped the two tonnes of cargo from boarding the aircraft for safety reasons, and seized the lighters on May 10.

On January 4, 2001, the shipper pleaded guilty in court on charges laid against him on the mishandling and was fined $4,500. The lighters, which totalled 5,000 pieces with a value of $125,000, were also confiscated.

"Under the Dangerous Goods (Consignment by Air) (Safety) Regulations (Cap. 384 sub. leg A) 1985, all dangerous goods must be properly classified, packed, marked, labelled and documented as in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization's requirements before they can be offered for air carriage. The personnel involved in handling the consignment of such goods must also have received appropriate training.

"A person who contravenes these Regulations commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $250,000 and to imprisonment for two years," the spokesman said, adding that improperly prepared dangerous goods expose the passengers and the aircraft to a significant risk of injury and damage when transported by air.

"The large fluctuations in temperature and pressure and the three-dimensional vibration during air transport make a lot of the 'safe' goods on the ground hazardous. Therefore, only certain types of properly handled dangerous goods are allowed for air carriage. Others are not," the spokesman explained.

To monitor the safe carriage of dangerous goods by air, CAD officers carry out random inspections on air cargo shippers and freight forwarders to ensure their handling of dangerous goods comply with the appropriate regulations. A total of 112 inspections were made last year.

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Flight Movements to Break Record in Lunar New Year

14 January 2001

A record high of flight movements at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is expected to be achieved on January 24 (Wednesday), the Lunar New Year's Day, when 649 aircraft are scheduled to arrive and depart.

"The number of flight movements expected on the Lunar New Year's Day represents an increase of more than 22 per cent when compared with an average of 530 movements a day," a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department said today (January 14).

As at today, 24 airlines have submitted requests to operate 499 additional scheduled and ad-hoc charter flights (i.e. a total of 998 flight movements) from January 19 to February 4, with most applications falling on the period between January 24 (the Lunar New Year's Day) and 28 (the fifth day of the Lunar New Year). The number of total flight movements on the first and the last days of the period are expected to be 649 and 607 respectively. All the requests received so far have been accepted.

"The total number of additional flights represents a 13 per cent increase over last year's Lunar New Year holidays, when 882 extra flight movements were recorded. The current runway capacity is 45 flight movements per hour. The figure will increase to 47 in March," the spokesman added.

Airlines that have already submitted requests plan to operate flights to 25 destinations in the Mainland, 13 destinations in Southeast Asia and 10 destinations in Northeast Asia. Bangkok is the most popular destination, followed by Seoul, Guilin and Taipei.

The previous record high of flight movements in a single day occurred on April 21, 2000, which was an Easter holiday. A total of 623 flight movements took place at the HKIA on that day.