Aircraft were 304 metres apart, within safety limit Aviation officials yesterday denied a near miss between two airliners south of Hong Kong last week. Responding to a press report on the incident, the Civil Aviation Department said there had been a safe distance between the two planes. The report said the incident happened at 5.18pm on Thursday when a Boeing 747 was leaving Hong Kong for Kuala Lumpur and a Boeing 757 from Beijing was preparing to land in Hong Kong. Both aircraft were flying about 55 nautical miles south of Chek Lap Kok when they reportedly came close to each other. The department said the Boeing 757 was a Malaysia Airlines cargo flight and the Boeing 747 was a China Southern passenger flight. It said the two planes were about 304 metres apart at their closest, which was acceptable according to international standards. It said the Boeing 757 was flying at about 5,180 metres while the Boeing 747 was at 4,875 metres at the time. The department stressed that flight safety had not been compromised and there was no risk of a collision. 'Flight safety is always the prime objective of the Civil Aviation Department. The department takes every step to ensure safe, orderly and efficient air traffic control,' a spokesman said. In June 2001 an Airbus 320 travelling to Shanghai and a Boeing 777 arriving from Seoul had a near miss 110 nautical miles east of Chek Lap Kok. The aircraft had been 210 metres apart.