• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 9:11am
NewsHong Kong

68 flights an hour still won't be enough for Hong Kong: aviation chief

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 September, 2013, 9:56am

Flight capacity at Chek Lap Kok airport could be expanded to more than 68 flights per hour, but it would not be enough to meet the needs of the city's future economic development, the civil aviation head says.

"The increase would be only very small, so small it wouldn't help the city's economic development much," Norman Lo Shung-man, director-general of the Civil Aviation Department, said on TVB's On The Record programme yesterday.

The remark came after it was announced the airport set records for passenger throughput and flight movements last month for the second month in a row.

Lo said capacity would rise to 68 flights per hour in 2015 and the department could cope with up to 70 flights, although this could compromise the level of service.

"We don't want to see it overloaded because if it is, several factors will appear - the safety co-efficient would drop, although not to an unacceptable level, and ... flight delays could be more serious, causing bad feeling among passengers," he said.

Lo said capacity would reach saturation point in 2017 if a third runway was not built.

Yesterday, the Airport Authority announced the airport handled 5.6 million passengers and 32,395 flights last month - year-on-year growth of 8.2 per cent and 6.3 per cent respectively.

A green group said any debate over whether to build a third runway should also evaluate the city's capacity to accommodate an increase in the already large influx of visitors each year.

"If the director-general says [the capacity of] the two runways will reach saturation after two years, then many Hongkongers would say the capacity of Hong Kong to welcome more visitors has reached saturation now," said Roy Tam Hoi-pong, president of Green Sense.

The idea of a third runway was first floated in 2006. It would cost about HK$130 billion and boost flight handling capacity to 102 per hour, the authority said.


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Disingenuous oaf
32,395 movements last month = 1045 a day
18 hour operational day =58 movements /hr
19 hour operational day =55 movements /hr 0700-0200 hrs
so we have a white elephant airport that does not operate a full 24 hour day
We already know flightpath A1 is the busiest on the planet with 2 way traffic
Without enlarging the size of the tube there is a limit to the size of the movements through it let alone no central command & control centre covering the region
So with a 3rd runway they intend to have simultaneous takeoffs & landings closer to a mountain range with wind shear?
It will be far cheaper to erect sound barriers around Tung Chung apartments & operate a 24 hr airport
24 hrs x 65 flights =1560 per day =48,360 per month =49.3%increase over last month
Where shall I send the consultancy fee note ?
1.Why are you still allowing old noisy aircraft to land at CLK which barely meet 1970s era noise standards. ?These aircraft are banned from major airports in other jurisdictions.
2. Why are your giving landing priority to rich tycoons and taking valuable airspace and landing slots away from larger commercial aircraft carrying hundreds of passengers?
3. Why are you allowing polluting aircraft to operate short hops across the boundary to nearby Mainland cities, which are already connected by much more efficient high speed rail ( with more reliable on-schedule departure and arrival times) ?
4. Have you told the public honestly how the impact of the high speed rail system, when ready, will reduce your passenger flights by up to 25%?
5. Have you told the public honestly how Cathay Pacific's cargo operations are continuing to decline with no prospect of a pick up because factories in China are all moving north and can be better served by cargo hubs in central China ( notably Wuhan) ?
6. Have you explained to the public truthfully how Cathay Pacific use junkets as sweeteners to soften politicians objections to a new noisy and polluting extension to the airport which is not even economically justifiable?
7. Have you explained to the public why many of those working in aviation ( " many jobs created") in Hong Kong earn only a few thousand dollars a month for long working hours while "officials" in your many departments take home hundreds of thousands each year?
We need a complete overhaul of the top management of CAD.
Very true.. agree that the $130b can probably be better spent to create a central air traffic command for the entire region...
Airlines can always use larger capacity airplanes and small/private planes should be relegated to using the airport at off-peak/overnight slots.
It is pure lunacy to have housing nearby a first-rate airport which must curtail its full-time operation. With the third runway allowing takeoffs and landings simultaneously, could the increased noise level exceed bearable for the housing during the day? Furthermore, spending 130 billion dollars again for a limited use is twice lunacy. Just stupidity. Or who stands to be financially rewarded?
It is pure arrogant of the director of CAD to assume being an economist to base his request for a third runway on his reasoning that Hong Kong economy will grow. Please refrain from being such a loud mouth.
Maybe he forgot his and his wife's ATC training about A1 , terrain, wind shear etc?
1977-1981 Student Air Traffic Control Officer
1981-1984 Air Traffic Control Officer III
(1982 - 1996) Volunteer Pilot with the Auxiliary Air Force / GFS
1984-1988 Air Traffic Control Officer II
1988 - 1994 Operations Officer
(1991 - 1993) Secondment to Dragonair
1994 - 1996 Senior Operations Officer
1996 - 1997 Chief, Flight Standards
1997 - 2000 Assistant Director-General (Flight Standards) / Deputy Chief Inspector of Air Accidents
2000 Principal Assistant Secretary for Security (Special Duties)
2000 - 2002 Assistant Director-General (Air Traffic Management)
2002 - 2004 Deputy Director-General of Civil Aviation
2004 - present Director-General of Civil Aviation and Chief Inspector of Accidents
Smaller planes could use a smaller runway/airport.
Your question - who stands to be rewarded ?
One of the answers is - bureaucrats/builders who are justifying the Macau/Zhuhai bridge,
which terminates at the airport.
For that sort of money they might be able to build a brand new airport instead...


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