- CAD Well Prepared for
Y2K Rollover, (29 December 1999)
- CAD Organises Annual Search and Rescue
Exercise, (1 December 1999)
- CAD Hosted Search and Rescue Symposium,
(30 November 1999)
- Increased Passenger and Cargo Services
Offered by Airlines, (26 October 1999)
- Aircraft Safety Not Compromised, (22 October 1999)
- Investigation on China Southern Airlines
CZ341 incident, (18 October 1999)
- Flight safety, (3 September 1999)
- The Airport commenced full dual runways
operation, (31 August 1999)
- Preliminary on-site investigation of
air crash accident completed, (25 August 1999)
- Chek Lap Kok wind conditions on August
22, (24 August 1999)
- Flight Data Recorders retrieved, (24 August 1999)
- Civil Aircraft Accident - Inspector's
Investigation, (23 August 1999)
- Financial Secretary's transcript, (23 August 1999)
- Transcript of Chief Executive's media
session at PMH, (23 August 1999)
- Chief Executive's Statement on Air Accident,
(22 August 1999)
- Airport To Resume Operation, (22 August 1999)
- Press release on CI642 accident on August
22, (22 August 1999)
- CAD finishes investigation into ground
incident of June 17, (8 July 1999)
- Ground Incident - CI665, (19 June 1999)
- International Civil Aviation Organisation
Meeting, (1 March 1999)
CAD Well Prepared for Y2K Rollover
29 December 1999
The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) is well prepared for
the Y2K rollover and has developed a comprehensive contingency
plan to deal with incidents that may happen during both
time-zone transitions (local and Universal Time Constant
(UTC)) into the new millennium.
"Being the local aviation sector coordinator, CAD will
ensure a safe and uninterrupted airport and air traffic
control operation for Hong Kong during the rollover,"
Mr W Y Leung, Assistant Director of Civil Aviation (Technical
and Planning) said during a press visit to CAD's Y2K Coordination
and Control Centre (CAD Y2KCCC) and the Hong Kong China
Y2K Air Traffic Management Centre (HKC Y2K ATMC) today (Wednesday).
"Starting from 10 pm on December 31 (Friday), CAD will
activate its Y2K contingency plan such as resorting to use
the south runway only if necessary until all air traffic
control systems and the associated facilities in Hong Kong
have been checked for normal operation.
"The air traffic services Y2K contingency measures
to be activiated at the same time include 15-minute longitudinal
separation between aircraft flying at the same altitude
and the implementation of the International Civil Aviation
Organisation (ICAO) Contingency Route Structure. These measures
will be enforced until health checks on all air traffic
control facilities are completed and a region wide deactivation
agreement is reached through the coordination of the ICAO
Regional Y2K Coordination Unit (RY2K-CU) in Bangkok, Thailand.
"If necessary, contingency plans will also be implemented
by the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK), the Hong Kong
based airlines and other aviation related organisations
with a view to controlling and rectifying Y2K related problems
within the shortest possible time to minimise service disruption
"To further ensure safety, aircraft operators which
are unable to declare that their aircraft are Y2K compliant
will not be permitted to make any flight to, from or overflying
Hong Kong from 10 pm on December 31 to midnight on January
1, 2000 (Saturday). Such condition is applicable to all
commercial, general aviation and non-revenue flights. Up
to now, all the airlines operating flights during the period
have confirmed that their aircraft are Y2K compliant,"
Mr Leung said.
He added that the period would be subject to review on January
1, 2000 and might be shortened or extended depending on
the circumstances prevailing after the Y2K rollover.
To report and advise on the Y2K transition status of the
aviation sector in Hong Kong, the CAD Y2K CCC will be operated
from 8 pm on December 31 to 3.30 pm on January 1, 2000.
Its closing time will again be subject to review depending
on the situation.
"The CAD Y2K CCC will maintain close liaison with the
local aviation related organisations and relevant government
departments such as the Hong Kong Observatory and the Electrical
and Mechanical Services Department to oversee the Y2K transition
of the aviation sector.
"All the key members of the local aviation related
organisations such as AAHK, Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
and Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Limited will also set up their
coordination centers for direct liaison and communication
with the CAD Y2K CCC. Other organisations including air
cargo operators, ramp handling operators, ground handling
agents and aviation fuel providers will report their status
to CAD through AAHK.
"To further facilitate coordination between CAD's Air
Traffic Services and AAHK, an air traffic control officer
from CAD will be posted to AAHK's Y2K Command and Control
Centre, and an officer from the AAHK will be posted to the
CAD Y2K CCC" Mr Leung said.
Meanwhile, the HKC Y2K ATMC will be activated from 4 pm
on December 31 to coordinate with the RY2K-CU and the adjacent
air traffic control centers in the Asia Pacific Region on
Y2K related operational issues.
An air traffic control officer from CAD arrives in Bangkok
today to act as the Regional Coordinator of the RY2K-CU.
He will closely liaise with the HKC Y2K ATMC and other regional
Air Traffic Management Centres to exchange information pertinent
to Hong Kong and the regional air traffic control operations
during the Y2K rollover.
CAD will deploy more than 120 staff from different units
to man the CAD Y2K CCC, the HKC Y2K ATMC and other facilities
to strengthen support to Hong Kong's air traffic control
operations on December 31 and January 1.
CAD Organises Annual Search and
1 December 1999
A short range joint mountain and sea rescue demonstration
organised by the Civil Aviation Department was successfully
held at Hau Hok Wan, Lantau Island today (Wednesday).
The demonstration was part of an annual search and rescue
exercise (SAREX) to provide continuation training and familarisation
in search and rescue (SAR) technique for SAR qualified air
traffic controllers, aircrew and other units likely to be
involved in such operations," a spokesman for the Department
It involved aerial search demonstration by a Z-9 helicopter
from the Hong Kong Garrison of the People's Liberation Army
(PLA), winching demonstration of a simulated casualty in
a stretcher by a HH-60 helicopter from the United States
Air Force (USAF), followed by water winching demonstrations
by a S-70 helicopter from the Government Flying Service
(GFS) and another HH-60 helicopter from the USAF.
The Civil Aid Service (CAS) also took part by providing
mountain rescue and casualty evacuation preparation from
the hill side.
It was observed by more than 100 SAR experts. They included
representatives from the Mainland, Macau, Thailand and Singapore,
local observers from the CAS, the Hong Kong Police Force
(Marine Region), the Fire Services Department (FSD) and
a number of airlines.
Before the activation of this short range demonstation,
the search and rescue aircraft involved in this year's SAREX
were on display at the Hong Kong International Airport this
They were two C-130 aircraft, one each from the USAF and
the United States Coast Guard (USCG), one P-3 aircraft from
the United States Navy (USN), two HH-60 helicopters from
the USAF, and a Jetstream JS41 aircraft, S76 and H70 helicopters
from the GFS. Also on display was the mountain rescue equipment
by the CAS.
"As part of the annual event, a long range SAR exercise
will be held tomorrow (Thursday) to test the alerting procedures,
coordination and communication facilities of the various
"It will be activated this evening, simulating an aircraft
in distress about 100 nautical miles to the south of Hong
Kong. A search vessel and several search aircraft will be
dispatched to the area tomorrow morning to search and locate
the targets (represented by rubber tyres) in the South China Sea," the spokesman added.
This exercise will be participated by the Hong Kong Garrison
of the PLA (Navy), the USAF, the USCG, the USN and the GFS.
SAREX 99 began yesterday and will last until December 3
CAD Hosted Search and Rescue Symposium
30 November 1999
The annual search and rescue exercise (SAREX) organised
by the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) kicked off today
(Tuesday) with the launch of a Search and Rescue (SAR) Symposium.
"The SAR Symposium will help promote knowledge and
experience sharing on SAR expertise and foster better understanding,
cooperation and networking amongst SAR agencies," Mr
Albert Lam, Director of Civil Aviation, said at the opening
ceremony of the Symposium.
"Always Ready, That Others May Live is a motto for
every SAR professional. With the spirit of this motto in
mind, we learn to be always prepared and in readiness for
all kinds of contingencies.
"In the unfortunate aircraft accident that occurred
at the Hong Kong International Airport in August, despite
adverse weather conditions, all our emergency resources
responded spontaneously to the accident and accomplished
their missions in a very professional manner.
"The well-trained skills and readiness of all emergency
units involved had thus helped reduce the number of the
fatalities and casualties in that tragedy to the minimum.
This would not have been possible without adequate training
and practice through drills and exercises," he said.
He added that in SAREX 99, all local and overseas SAR personnel,
aircrew, as well as CAD's air traffic controllers would
have the golden opportunity to update their SAR technique,
share the valuable experience gained and be better equipped
for any SAR mission when called for.
Speaking at the symposium today were representatives from
the United States Coast Guard, the United States Air Force
and the United States Navy. Officials from the CAD, the
Government Flying Service, the Marine Department and the
Hong Kong Police Force (Marine Region) also gave presentations.
SAREX will be held consecutively for four days until December
3. Apart from the Symposium, the exercise this year will
consist of a static display of aircraft by the participating
units, display of mountain rescue equipment by the CAS,
a short range joint mountain and sea rescue demonstration
at Hau Hok Wan, and a long range exercise in the South China
Increased Passenger and Cargo Services
Offered by Airlines
26 October 1999
Twenty-two more scheduled passenger and cargo services to
and from Hong Kong will be offered by airlines in the winter
season of 1999/00 (October 31, 1999 to March 25, 2000) as
compared with the summer season (March 28 to October 30,
1999), bringing the total flight movements at Hong Kong
International Airport to 3,200 per week.
"A total of 37 more scheduled passenger and cargo services
will be offered in the new season, but 15 services will
also be suspended, thus making the net increase to 22,"
a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department said today
"Among the 37 increased scheduled services, 14 are
new passenger services and nine are new cargo services,
while 14 are resumed passenger services," he said.
Meanwhile, two new destinations will be added in the winter
schedule of 1999/00. Cheju in South Korea will be served
by passenger services, while Batam in Indonesia will be
served by cargo services. The total number of destinations
offered by passenger and cargo services from Hong Kong will
thus be increased to 130.
"Moreover, there will be a new cargo carrier offered
by Indonesia's Mandala Airlines. Starting from the new season,
therefore, there will be a total of 65 passenger and cargo
airlines serving between Hong Kong and different parts of
the world," the spokesman added.
Aircraft Safety Not Compromised
22 October 1999
Aircraft safety has not been compromised because of the
industrial action taken by line maintenance staff of HAECO,
a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department said today
"Airworthiness officers from the Civil Aviation Department
conduct regular inspections on HAECO's maintenance work
at the airport.
"We have also reminded HAECO to ensure that the standards
of its maintenance work are maintained to the required regulatory
standards to ensure safe operations of aircraft.
"Meanwhile, regular contacts
are established with major airlines and they are requested
to provide feedback to the Department if they experience
any problems relating to HAECO's maintenance services. The
Civil Aviation Department has not received any reports so
far from the airlines. We will continue to watch developments
closely," the spokesman said.
Investigation on China Southern
Airlines CZ341 incident
18 October 1999
A joint investigation into the China Southern Airlines CZ341
incident which happened yesterday (October 17) is being
carried out by the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department,
General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC),
and the China Southern Airlines Co. Ltd.
"The investigation covers mainly the operational, engineering
and survivability aspects," a spokesman for the Civil
Aviation Department said today (Monday).
"Initial inspection of the aeroplane in Hong Kong has
ruled out any mechanical or engineering problem, and the
aeroplane departed Hong Kong to Guangzhou at 12.21 pm today
without any passengers on board.
"Off-site investigation which includes crew and passengers
interviews, collection of radar, air traffic control and
meteorological information is proceeding," he added.
Meanwhile, the Digital Flight Data Recorder and the Cockpit
Voice Recorder of the aeroplane have been sent to Beijing
for retrieval of flight information.
It is estimated that the investigation will take about six
to nine months to complete.
3 September 1999
In response to press enquiries on flight safety in the event
of any closure or restrictions on the use of air routes
in the Mainland, a spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department
today (Friday) issued the following statement:
"In accordance with the International Civil Aviation
Organisation provisions, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) unit
in charge of the airspace concerned is responsible for the
provision of air traffic control service. As a standard
aviation practice, the ATC unit will notify the pilots concerned
immediately on any closure or restrictions on the use of
air routes. If an alternative routing is available, this
will be offered to the pilot concerned.
"There is close liaison between the Hong Kong and the
Mainland ATC units for flights operating between Hong Kong
and the Mainland. Should there be restrictions on the use
of Mainland air routes affecting flights departing from
Hong Kong, the Mainland ATC unit will inform Hong Kong ATC
immediately which will advise pilots and airlines with a
view to ensuring flight safety."
The Airport commenced full dual
31 August 1999
The Hong Kong International Airport commenced full dual
runways operation at 10 am today (Tuesday).
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) said
today that noise monitoring carried out by the department
and Environmental Protection Department since the partial
opening of the North Runway in May showed that actual aircraft
noise levels in areas under the new flight paths conformed
with those forecast in the earlier Environmental Impact
"However, in view of public concern, CAD will continue
to implement various noise mitigating measures so as to
minimise the noise impact to residents under the flight
paths, especially at night, provided that flight safety
will not be compromised and the efficiency and capability
of the airport will not be severely affected."
"As part of the measures, aircraft landing between
midnight and 7 am will land from the southwest, subject
to safety and acceptable weather conditions. Flight departing
to the east between 11 pm and 7 am will use the southbound
route over the West Lamma Channel, again subject to safety
and operational considerations. These measures will help
reduce the need for aircraft to overfly the populated districts."
"Experience in the past few months indicates that the
above measures can apply to most flight during the periods
concerned. The few exceptions were due to various operational
reasons including prevailing wind conditions, maintenance
and flight calibration of navigational aids, or air traffic
"In order to further reduce noise impact, aircraft
departing to the east will adopt the International Civil
Aviation Organisation (ICAO) noise abatement take-off procedures,"
the spokesman said.
"This measure will ensure when aircraft unavoidably
do overfly populated areas they are at a higher altitude,
thus reducing the level of noise impact to the community."
In addition, CAD is actively considering the possibility
of bringing forward the ICAO programme in regard to the
restriction on use of noisy aircraft (i.e. those which do
not comply with the noise levels in Chapter 3 of ICAO Annex
16) between 11 pm and 7 am.
Preliminary on-site investigation
of air crash accident completed
25 August 1999
The preliminary on-site investigation including surveying
of the wreckage plot and taking of surface and aerial photographs
of the air crash accident has been completed today (Wednesday).
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Department said, "The
investigation team has passed the aircraft wreckage to the
Airport Authority for removal from the scene."
"Off-site investigation which includes gathering of
information from passengers, Airport Fire Contingent, Airport
Police Contingent, Airport Police and others is proceeding."
"The Digital Flight Data Recorder and the Cockpit Voice
Recorder were sent to United Kingdom last night. The investigation
team is expecting to receive the data for analysis in about
two weeks' time." the spokesman added.
Chek Lap Kok wind conditions on
24 August 1999
In response to media enquiries about prevailing wind conditions
at Hong Kong International Airport on Sunday, August 22,
a government spokesman said today (Tuesday) it was important
to make a distinction between cross-winds and windshear.
The spokesman said that last Sunday evening strong northwesterly
cross-winds were generally blowing across the runway at
Hong Kong International Airport.
He pointed out that the wind conditions prevailing at the
airport on the day were blowing in from the sea, and not
from the direction of the nearby Lantau mountains.
The Hong Kong Observatory received no reports of windshear
from pilots flying into and out of Hong Kong on the day.
The Hong Kong Observatory's sophisticated Windshear and
Turbulence Warning System gave no warning of windshear at
the time of the China Airlines crash, nor did Hong Kong
Observatory staff who were specifically monitoring for that
There were 11 landings in the two hours before the accident,
the last one being just six minutes beforehand. There were
six missed approaches and two diversions during the same
All pilots were fully informed by the Civil Aviation Department
on prevailing weather conditions so they could decide whether
to land or take off.
The spokesman emphasised that the potential problems of
cross-wind, windshear and turbulence at the new airport
were comprehensively studied as part of the selection of
the site for the replacement airport.
The studies showed that the frequency of cross-wind occurrence
and the usability of the airport during cross-winds were
well inside the recommended guidelines by the International
Civil Aviation Organisation.
The studies found that under cross-wind conditions, there
was only a marginal difference in the usability of Kai Tak
airport compared to the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.
They concluded that Chek Lap Kok was operationally viable
as an international airport in terms of windshear and turbulence.
Flight Data Recorders retrieved
24 August 1999
The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) retrieved the Digital
Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) and the Cockpit Voice Recorder
(CVR) from the wreckage in the aircraft accident at about
5 pm today (Tuesday).
"The two Recorders will be sent to the Air Accident
Investigation Branch of the UK Department of Transport tonight,"
a spokesman for the CAD said.
"The wreckage is planned to be removed from the scene
later tomorrow to a vacant site near to HK Aircraft Engineering
Company's Hangar," he added.
Civil Aircraft Accident - Inspector's
23 August 1999
An Inspector's Investigation is being conducted into the
cause of the accident which occurred on August 22, 1999
at Hong Kong International Airport to a MD-11 aircraft with
registration B-150 and operated in the name of China Airlines,
Any persons who wish to make representation as to the circumstances
or cause of the accident should do so by letter, fax or
telephone to the Chief Inspector of Accidents c/o The Civil
Aviation Department, 46th floor, Queensway Government Offices,
Queensway, Hong Kong (Tel: 2867 4203; Fax: 2501 0640) within
Financial Secretary's transcript
23 August 1999
The following is the transcript of a meet-the-media session
by the Financial Secretary, Mr Donald Tsang, after visiting
the aircraft accident scene at the Hong Kong International
Airport today (Monday):
I have no plan to meet you, ladies and gentlemen, although
I always relish this opportunity. I come here trying to
gain some background information of the accident. It was
such a serious accident and I hope that in addition to giving
some morale pep talk to my colleagues, I was able to get
hold of some of the background information so that in participating
in discussions or, follow-up action, I would be able to
do so meaningfully and usefully. As we know, this was a
very serious accident, one of the worst in our aviation
history. We feel very very sorry for those who have been
injured and those two persons who died during the accident.
We are giving medical attention to those who are injured
and in this, we spare no effort. The Hospital Authority
is doing its very best to look after them. For those who
have died, I am very sorry and I send them my deepest condolences.
At the same time, we hope that we would be able to help
the families to get over this problem as soon as possible.
One thing came very clear to our mind that the way in which
the rescue operation was conducted, looking at the wreckage
just now, I think it was sort of a miracle that however
horrible that we have had sustained such an injury, for
the number of people died and the extent of injuries involved
is miraculously low. That must be the work of the rescue
operation. We have seen how the Airport Authority, Civil
Aviation Department, the Auxiliary Services and the Hospital
Authority working very hard in this rescue operation, but
the highest credit must go to our Fire Services Department
which has done exceedingly well. As a member of the Civil
Service, I am very proud of them. As a Hong Kong citizen,
I think we are grateful to them for all their work. I hope
they will continue their good work and make sure that Hong
Kong has the safest airport to land and with the best emergency
preparation arrangement to cope with incidents of this kind.
Thank you very much.
Transcript of Chief Executive's
media session at PMH
23 August 1999
Following is the English portion of the transcript of the
media session by the Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa,
at the Princess Margaret Hospital this (Monday) morning
after visiting people who were injured in the aircraft accident
Reporter : What do you feel about the accident at Chek Lap
Mr Tung : Well, we are obviously saddened by the death and
by the degree of those people who have been injured. It
is something that all of us in the Government and all of
us in Hong Kong, obviously, are very concerned about. But
I would like to say that after the accident, the Government
responded really, very very efficiently, whether it was
the Police, whether it was the Airport Authority, whether
it was our fire fighters, the Hospital Authority, all responded
very, very quickly, in a very organised and very professional
manner. And from that point of view, Hong Kong has been
put to a test and I think we came through it. And none of
us obviously want to see this sort of accident happened.
Reporter : Many passengers said that they were kept in the
dark of what was happening. So, shouldn't the AA do something
to inform the passengers?
Mr Tung : Could I ask the Airport Authority Chairman (Mr
Victor Fung), may be, to respond to this and some of the
Mr Fung : We ourselves have been also very concerned obviously
about this incident. And ever since the incident started,
I was at the airport myself to work closely together with
our colleagues to actually handle the incident. And everything
now has been taking care of as far as the rescue operations
are concerned. We are now very concerned, obviously, about
getting the passengers that are now at the airport on their
ways. We will be concentrating on that. In terms of getting
information to the passengers, we have kept the airlines
immediately informed and through them we felt that that
was the best way to keep the passengers informed.
Reporter : Why couldn't there be a public announcement of
Mr Fung : Well, the public announcement, I think really
should come out when we have some ideas of when the airport
will re-open. And as soon as we have actually handled the
rescue operations and knew that the airport would be open
by one o'clock, we immediately made the announcement.
Chief Executive's Statement on
22 August 1999
The Chief Executive, Mr Tung Chee Hwa, said today (Sunday)
that he was deeply shocked by the tragic accident which
occurred this evening, resulting in the death of two passengers
and the injury of over 200 people on board an aircraft.
He sent his deepest regret and condolences to the family
of the deceased. He hoped that those injured would recover
The Chief Executive said the Director of Civil Aviation,
as the Chief Inspector of Accidents, has already initiated
a full investigation into the accident under the Hong Kong
Civil Aviation (Investigation of Accidents) Regulations.
Airport To Resume Operation
22 August 1999
The Director of Civil Aviation and the Director of Fire
Services have informed the Airport Authority that operations
at the Hong Kong International Airport can resume with effect
from 0100 local time.
The airport was closed at 1845 hours when an accident, involving
China Airlines Flight CI642 arriving from Bangkok, occurred
on the South Runway. Two passengers are confirmed dead and
over 200 injured.
Chairman of the Airport Authority, Dr. Victor Fung Kwok-king,
issued the following statement from Chek Lap Kok, "Our
deepest sympathy goes out to all those affected by this
terrible tragedy and their loved ones, and we wish the injured
a very speedy recovery."
The Airport Authority has accorded top priority to the rescue
operations. It will continue to work closely with relevant
Government departments and parties involved to give all
possible assistance to the passengers and crew affected.
Press release on CI642 accident
on August 22
22 August 1999
An accident occurred on the south runway of the Hong Kong
International Airport at 1845 hours today (Sunday), involving
China Airlines, Flight CI 642, MD 11 aircraft with 300 passengers
and 15 crew members. The aircraft arrived from Bangkok.
Rescue services responded immediately and the airport is
The priority is rescue work. At 2230 hours, 101 persons
have been rescued uninjured, 208 passengers who have been
injured to varying degrees are in hospitals. So far there
are two fatalities and six passengers are still unaccounted
for. When the rescue phase is completed, the next priority
will be to reopen the airport. Further information will
be made available as soon as possible.
CAD finishes investigation into
ground incident of June 17
8 July 1999
The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) has conducted a detailed
investigation into the ground incident of June 17, 1999
in which a China Airlines flight from Hong Kong to Singapore
abandoned its take-off on the runway. It subsequently experienced
hot brakes and five wheel tyres were deflated as a precautionary
A CAD spokesman said today (Thursday) that investigation
has been completed with causes identified.
"Although the investigation reveals that the controller
concerned had a good record of performance and that this
was an isolated incident resulting from an error committed
by him in anxiety, the department attaches great importance
to the need to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents
in future," he said.
Measures taken by the department include :
- New standing instruction has been issued to remind controllers
of the need to use correct callsigns at all times when air
traffic control (ATC) clearances are transmitted to aircraft.
- Special briefings are being given to all controllers to
reinforce this message.
- Periodic checks on radio transmissions will be conducted
to ensure strict compliance.
- Guidance material has been provided to Tower Controllers
to enhance their technique in the handling of aircraft hot
brake incidents. The objective is to ensure that after an
aircraft has applied the brakes heavily on the runway, sufficient
time would be given for it to cool down its brakes before
taxiing in order to minimise damage to the tyres.
- The controller concerned has been suspended from operational
duties in the Control Tower. He will be assigned to work
in the Air Traffic Control Centre where the work nature
is less time-critical. Prior to performing solo duties,
he will be required to undergo intensive simulator as well
as on-the-job training under the supervision of qualified
instructors before being checked out. Thereafter, his work
will be closely monitored by his supervisors.
"The CAD has reviewed its ATC procedures and confirmed
that they are operated in accordance with the standards
and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation
Organisation. The department has a well-structured and comprehensive
training programme for ATC staff. In addition, a stringent
proficiency checking system is in place. To further improve
its services, it will continue to place importance on the
enhancement of ATC operations and additional training requirements.
The CAD is committed to provide a safe, orderly and efficient
air traffic control service to aircraft operating in Hong
Kong," the spokesman stressed.
The following summarises the findings of the investigation:
At about 4.28 pm on June 17, 1999, when an Airbus (CI665)
was given permission to take off on Runway 07R, a following
Air China Boeing 737(CA1074) from Hong Kong to Shijiazhuang
was also approaching the runway for departure. Having assessed
that the next arriving aircraft was still some eight nautical
miles from the runway, the Tower Controller allowed CA1074
to enter the runway behind CI665 with an intention to release
both departures before the arrival of the next aircraft.
The approaching aircraft was an Airbus A320 which had departed
Hong Kong for Phnom Penh but returning due to a minor electrical
problem. As the aircraft was number one in the approach
sequence, it was allowed to fly at its own speed.
However, when CI665 commenced its take-off roll, the Tower
Controller found that the arriving aircraft was approaching
the runway at a relatively high speed and the time available
would not be sufficient to release CA1074. The previous
assessment of the traffic situation was therefore inaccurate.
He then decided to change his plan and stop CA1074 short
of the runway. Because of anxiety, the Tower Controller
used the callsign of CI665 in error in his transmission.
He realised this immediately but did not have time to amend
the instruction as CI665 had reacted promptly and discontinued
with the take-off roll.
On receiving the Tower Controller's "Cancel line up,
hold position" instruction, CI665 abandoned the take-off
at once before reaching its take-off decision speed. Although
the "Cancel line up" instruction was not strictly
applicable to CI665, "hold position" was too serious
for the pilot to ignore. Under the demanding real time situation,
the pilot's decision to abandon the take-off was understandable.
The aircraft had attained a speed of 140 knots and the take
off decision speed for the flight was 165 knots. The aborted
take-off was safely executed.
After CI665 had vacated the runway, the aircraft was permitted
to taxi for another departure as there was no indication
from the pilot that holding was required. On reaching the
holding point, the pilot reported that there were three
flat tyres due to high brake temperature. When the ground
engineers arrived, it was discovered that five tyres were
deflated automatically by the built-in safety device. Eventually,
all eight wheel tyres and brake assemblies were replaced
before the aircraft was released for service. In hindsight,
the tower controller could have been more inquisitive in
respect of the hot brake situation so as to assist the pilot
to cool down the brakes as much as possible.
Ground Incident - CI665
19 June 1999
On June 17, 1999, at approximately 4.28 pm, China Airlines
flight CI665, an Airbus A300 from Hong Kong to Singapore,
discontinued its take-off and subsequently had experienced
hot brakes and some of its tyres were deflated.
Preliminary investigation revealed that when CI665 was given
permission to take off, another flight Air China CA1074,
a B737 from Hong Kong to Shijiazhuang was approaching the
runway for departure. With the next arriving aircraft still
some eight nautical miles from the runway, the Tower Controller
cleared CA1074 to enter the runway behind CI665.
As there was a slight delay in CI665 in commencing take-off
roll, and with the next landing aircraft five nautical miles
away, the Tower Controller decided to withold CA1074 from
departure and intended to instruct CA1074 not to enter the
runway and to hold position. However, the callsign of CI665
was used in error in his transmission. The pilot of CI665
decided to discontinue its take off roll.
After CI665 vacated the runway, five main wheel tyres were
deflated automatically due to high temperature, which is
a built-in safety precaution. Eventually, all eight main
wheel tyres and brake assemblies were replaced before the
aircraft was released for service to ensure safe operation.
A Civil Aviation Department (CAD) spokesman said today (Saturday),
"CAD is very concerned about the incident. While a
detailed investigation is still being conducted with results
to be released in two weeks' time, immediate remedial actions
have been taken. The subject controller has been suspended
from duty and reminders have been issued to all controllers
to ensure correct callsigns are used at all times in radio
instructions to aircraft.
International Civil Aviation Organisation
1 March 1999
The Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) is hosting
the five-day International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)
7th South East Asia Air Traffic Service Co-ordination Group
(SEACG) Meeting from today (Monday) to Friday at the Air
Traffic Control Complex of the Hong Kong International Airport.
At the opening address, Director of Civil Aviation, Mr Albert
K Y LAM, said the meeting aimed to provide a forum for discussion
and review of the existing air traffic control communication
procedures within the South East Asia region. Through this
meeting, problems affecting the provision of air traffic
services in the area will be identified and practical solutions
will be worked out to overcome such problems.
In addition to the ICAO and HK CAD delegations, state delegations
from Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand
and representatives from International Federation of Airline
Pilot Association (IFALPA), SITA Air-Ground Services, International
Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Federation
of Air Traffic Controller Association (IFATCA) are participating
in the meeting.