46 aircraft deviated from set flight path

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 February, 2009, 12:00am

Almost 50 aircraft leaving the city over the past five years have failed to take the West Lamma flight route, a Civil Aviation Department requirement designed to reduce noise levels in urban areas.

In a written reply to a question from legislator David Li Kwok-po on the monitoring of flight paths taken by departing aircraft, Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng said the government was mindful of the impact of aircraft operations on the local community.

Since January 1999, the aviation department has required aircraft taking off in a northeast direction between 11pm and 7am to turn south upon reaching the northeast corner of Lantau Island and use the southbound route via the West Lamma Channel.

However, 46 failed to do so from 2004 to 2007.

'Subject to flight safety and air traffic operations not being affected, the requirement is to avoid flying over Tsing Yi, the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island,' Ms Cheng said.

The number of incidents in which departing aircraft deviated from the required route and took a short-cut was 12 in 2004, 20 in 2005, five in 2006 and nine in 2007. None did so last year.

Ms Cheng said the department was closely monitoring aircrafts' compliance with measures to reduce noise.