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View Poll Results: Scale from 1 to 10, 10 being SUPER and 1 being BAD, what would you rate the Airport??
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Old December 18th, 2007, 06:27 PM   #2321
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港深研究鐵路連接兩機場
18/12/2007
東方日報

【 本 報 訊 】 政 務 司 司 長 唐 英 年 與 深 圳 巿 巿 長 許 宗 衡 今 日 將 代 表 兩 地 簽 署 合 作 協 議 , 協 議 涵 蓋 基 建 、 環 保 、 服 務 貿 易 、 醫 療 生 等 多 個 範 疇 , 重 點 包 括 兩 地 機 場 的 合 作 , 進 一 步 研 究 興 建 連 接 赤 角 和 深 圳 機 場 鐵 路 的 可 行 性 的 經 濟 效 益 , 以 及 探 討 河 套 區 的 發 展 規 劃 等 。

許 宗 衡 率 團 訪 港
許 宗 衡 昨 日 率 領 來 自 十 多 個 部 門 的 深 圳 巿 政 府 代 表團 來 港 , 展 開 其 三 日 的 訪 港 之 旅 , 昨 許 先 與 行 政 長 官 曾 蔭 權 會 面 , 而 其 今 次 訪 港 的重 點 將 是 與 政 務 司 司 長 唐 英 年 於 今 日 共 同 主 持 深 港 合 作 會 議 , 並 簽 署 有 關 協 議 。

據 悉 , 雙 方 將 在 會 議 上 談 及 的 合 作 範 疇 相 當 廣 泛 , 除 了 兩 地 機 場 、 基 建 、 服 務 貿 易等 合 作 外 , 亦 會 進 一 步 探 討 蓮 塘 、 香 園 圍 口 岸 的 規 劃 , 而 兩 地 又 會 就 深 港 創 新 圈 的科 技 合 作 範 疇 方 面 作 出 討 論 。

另 外 , 許 宗 衡 率 領 的 代 表 明 日 則 會 出 席 一 個 深 港 金 融 合 作 的 懇 談 會 , 主 題 是 在 深 港 共 建 世 界 級 大 都 巿 的 背 景 下 , 共 同 探 討 深 港 金 融 合 作 。
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Old December 18th, 2007, 06:28 PM   #2322
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舊航道嚴重擠塞
港航班被迫延誤

2007年12月18日



【明報專訊】現時本港有兩條往返內地航道,據熟悉民航安排人士估計,新建議的航道設計是按同一高度並排飛行原則,在原有航道的60浬外規劃另一新航道;現時空運頻繁,2005年時誤點的香港航班超過3000班。

新舊航道並排距60浬

民航處發言人指出,建議中的新航道跨越香港和華東地區的飛行情報區,建議尚在計劃階段。民航處前處長樂鞏南解釋,所謂飛行情報區(Flight Information Region)其實是不同國家或地區提供領空資料的區分,沒有任何情報意思。

內地大部分空域屬禁區

他續稱,按其經驗所知,本港往來華東地區的航班都是沿海岸線飛行,他推斷新航道會以同一高度並排飛行原則,規劃在距離原有航道60浬處。

香港中文大學航空政策研究所副主任羅祥國認為,現時往來本港華南、華北地區的航班非常繁忙,擠塞情也很嚴重。據悉,其中一個原因是由於本港航班往返華北和華中,都使用同一航道出口,加上內地大部分的空域屬於軍事管制區域,民航機不得進出,令航班經常誤點,單計2005年,誤點的航班便超過3000班,比 2004年多近兩倍。在上月底解放軍軍演期間,兩日內來往香港和上海的120航班之中,有多達七成半、即約90班延誤或取消,部分延誤逾4小時。
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Old December 18th, 2007, 06:29 PM   #2323
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滬港新航道飛台海惹台灣抗議
貼近海峽中線 台灣﹕或啟動防空系統

2007年12月18日

【明報專訊】香港又捲入緊張的兩岸關係之中。本港民航處證實,現時正和內地民航部門商討一條新航道,供來往香港至華東地區的航機使用;據悉該航線將會是海峽兩岸分治近60年來,首條飛越台灣海峽上空的大陸內陸航道。台灣國防部強調,一旦有戰機飛越台海中線,台灣地面防空系統即會啟動。時事評論員認為,雖然台北大為緊張,但始終使用航道的是民航機,台北不會貿貿然影響航機安全。本港民航處澄清,並沒有和台灣民航局作正式接觸。

民航處否認接觸台灣

消息人士指出,內地和香港就新航道的磋商持續約半年。由國家民航總局及港澳地區民航處共同成立的三方小組,在今年初已就新航道的設立和位置達成共識。有關建議交由民航總局空中管制專家和司級官員組成的《珠三角空中交通管理推進實施領導小組》再審議,消息人士強調,具體落實方案現階段仍有修改空間。

但台北對這條新航道的反應非常強烈。台灣官方稱,本港民航處在上月26日以電郵通知台灣交通部民航局,表示大陸將會開設香港至上海的RNAV新航道。台灣國安機構憂慮新航道距離台灣海峽中線只有4.2浬,屆時兩岸的飛機將面臨交叉飛行的危險局面。

據台灣傳媒報道,新航道逼近海峽中線警戒區,會壓縮台灣軍機訓練的空間,美國亦已表達高度關切。一旦大陸蘇愷戰機藉新航道跨越中線,只要3分鐘即可到達台北上空,故台灣國防部長李天羽強調,只要可疑軍機飛過中線,台灣的地面防空系統就會啟動,包括管式的火炮系統和地對空導彈都會做好射擊準備。

呂秀蓮爆出消息

有關新航道的消息,其實是前天台灣副總統呂秀蓮為民進黨籍立法委員參選人助選時爆出。昨天有台灣傳媒指大陸本有意藉此恢復兩岸協商,並由香港扮演中間人與台灣談判,但台灣以「層級太低」為由回絕。

台灣陸委會副主委劉德勳否認有協商之說,強調大陸方面只是告知,並無提協商之事。台灣交通部已向國際民航組織(ICAO)提出抗議,未來如何處理,台灣的陸委會、國防部、國安局和交通部均表示會密切注意。

時事評論員劉銳紹認為,民航客機基於航道擠塞而另闢航道,做法合理,台北的反對意見較難獲得支持。他不太擔心民航機飛近中線產生危險,認為除非台北當局想令局勢升級,否則不會使用軍機攔截民航機。

國台辦﹕正了解情

中國國務院台灣事務辦公室表示,國台辦今天才從媒體的報道中看到這消息,不太清楚具體情,目前仍在了解中。

有開辦港滬航線的國泰航空表示,洽談新航道屬政府之間的事務,航空公司角色較被動。

港龍航空表示,因有關新航道仍在磋商中,公司不宜回應,但會繼續密切留意有關事態發展。

明報記者 張虹梅(駐台)、 陳朗昇 聯線報道
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Old December 18th, 2007, 06:37 PM   #2324
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Taiwan criticises Beijing over air route near air force training zone
18 December 2007
South China Morning Post

Taiwan has criticised the mainland for creating new tension across the Taiwan Strait by unilaterally creating a new air route close to the island's air force training space.

It is seeking help from the International Civil Aviation Organisation and other countries in voicing opposition to the new route, said to have been approved by the mainland's Central Military Commission on December 5, Taiwanese officials said yesterday.

"The [new] mainland Chinese route is too close to us, which will not only affect flight safety but will also squeeze the manoeuvring space of our military planes in various drills and training," National Security Bureau director Shi Hwei-yow said.

He told lawmakers the new route would help Beijing monitor Taiwan or take other actions that could further escalate cross-strait tensions.

Military officials said the new route could also create misunderstanding if mainland planes strayed to the Taiwanese side as the air force and other military units would be forced to react.

The new route is 67.2km away from the "midline" of the Taiwan Strait, an unofficial dividing line that has been observed by the two sides for decades to avoid unexpected clashes. Taiwan has eight air force training zones and two live-fire practice zones that use the airspace east of the midline. It also has three air routes from the islands of Quemoy and Matsu that fly near it.

Taiwanese Defence Minister Lee Tien-yu yesterday said it would take mainland warplanes just 20 seconds to cross the line and three to five minutes to fly over Taipei city.

He said mainland civilian planes had previously strayed "slightly" into the Taiwanese zone or flown close to the line, and the military had standard operating procedures to deal with any situation according to the risk levels and perceived intentions.

Questioning the motive behind Beijing's designation of the new route, Taiwan's foreign ministry said it had appealed to the international community to express concern about the unilateral move, which not only violated international aviation practices but also created flight safety and cross-strait stability problems.

"We have obtained support from some countries in voicing their concern about the case," foreign ministry spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh Fei-bi said. The International Civil Aviation Organisation had been asked by certain countries to look into the issue and take possible action, she added.

Ms Yeh did not identify the countries, but Taiwanese media reported that they included Japan, Singapore and Canada.

She said the mainland informed Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), through Hong Kong authorities, of the new route on November 26, without discussing the issue with the island, even though it involved Taiwan's rights.

CAA director Billy Chang Kuo-cheng confirmed that Hong Kong "aviation authorities" had notified CAA of the new route. But the Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Department (CAD) said it did not have any "formal contact" with Taiwan's CAA.

CAD spokeswoman Stella Tse Wai-ling said the department and mainland aviation authorities were discussing the setting up of a new air route that would cross the flight information regions of Hong Kong and the eastern mainland, but the route was still being planned.

Taiwan's opposition legislators yesterday questioned the National Security Bureau's motive in highlighting the air route dispute, speculating it could be a plot to give independence-leaning President Chen Shui-bian an excuse to freeze the upcoming legislative and presidential elections, faced with what they said was lacklustre performance of the candidates of Mr Chen's ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

There have been rumours that Mr Chen could stoke cross-strait tensions by deliberately having Taiwanese warplanes stray into the mainland's air zone to create conflict.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 05:54 PM   #2325
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India, Hong Kong agree to liberalise air services

NEW DELHI, Dec 19 (Reuters) - India and Hong Kong have agreed to liberalise air services by increasing the number of flights and allowing carriers to fly onward to other countries, India's civil aviation ministry said on Wednesday.

The new agreement allows 27 new services per week for each on the India-Hong Kong route, it said in a statement.

India can operate the new services from any point in India, while Hong Kong has been allowed 10 services to Delhi, six to Mumbai and 11 in all to Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata.

Currently, India's state-run Air India [AI.UL] operates 12 flights to Hong Kong, and Cathy Pacific has eight flights to India from Hong Kong every week.

Under the earlier agreement, these carriers were not allowed to fly onward to a third country.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:26 AM   #2326
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Rail line the best way to connect Shenzhen, HK airports, says Tang
19 December 2007
South China Morning Post

A rail link would be the best way to connect Hong Kong's and Shenzhen's airports and boost ties between the two cities' aviation sectors, Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen said after a meeting with Shenzhen Mayor Xu Zongheng .

Two joint taskforces will be set up soon - one to study inter-airport co-operation and the other to look at development of the Lok Ma Chau Loop.

"It seems railway would be the most efficient and convenient means of public transport between the two airports, which are 30km apart," Mr Tang said. "There is a lot of room for the two airports to complement each other's route network."

Joint research on building a sixth border checkpoint between the two cities - connecting Heung Yuen Wai in the northeastern New Territories with Liantang in Shenzhen - was nearly complete, Mr Tang said.

"It is expected the Hong Kong side will finish its study on land planning and road links for the checkpoint in the first quarter of next year," he said.

A group of Shenzhen officials led by Mr Xu started a three-day visit to Hong Kong yesterday.

The two governments signed seven pacts to enhance co-operation in infrastructure development, environmental protection, urban planning, trade, tourism, technology and medical services.

Environmental assessment would be a focus for the joint taskforce on how to develop the Lok Ma Chau Loop, a 1 sq km site beside the Shenzhen River, the chief secretary said.

"How to protect the eco-environment of the loop area poses a challenge," Mr Tang said. "The area has been deserted for a long time, but it might play a key role in the two cities' economic development."

The site came under Hong Kong's jurisdiction in 1997 when the river was straightened. Cleaning up the loop area would be costly, as it contains 4.5 million cubic metres of toxic mud.

Mr Tang did not give a timetable for developing the loop area or building an inter-airport rail link.

Both ideas were first floated in August by a think-tank as part of an ambitious proposal to make Hong Kong and Shenzhen a single metropolis and an economic powerhouse bigger than London, Paris, Chicago or Los Angeles by 2020.

The Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre, which is close to Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, proposes that the Lok Ma Chau Loop become a "special region within special regions", with simplified entry procedures for Shenzhen residents.

The foundation says that if the metropolis maintained gross domestic product growth of 8 per cent a year until 2020, its GDP would reach US$1.11 trillion, putting it behind only Tokyo and New York.

This month, the chairman of the Airport Authority, Victor Fung Kwok-king, said he expected closer "formal" ties among the airports in the Pearl River Delta as the proximity of infrastructure meant they could not afford to compete.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 05:01 AM   #2327
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India, Hong Kong fly in more freedom
20 December 2007
The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: India and Hong Kong on Wednesday agreed to allow each other 27 new flights per week and also settled for exercising the fifth freedom that would allow designated airlines of the two sides to take passengers from each other's territory to a third country.

"While the Indian airlines can operate 27 services from domestic destination, the other side can operate 10 services to Delhi, 6 services to Mumbai and 11 services altogether to Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata from Hong Kong," a ministry of civil aviation statement said.

Taking advantage of the fifth freedom, Indian carriers could operate 14 services to West Coast North America (including Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver) using Hong Kong as a hopping destination. Reciprocally, the Hong Kong carrier can use India to take 14 services to various European destinations, except UK.

The two sides also entered into a liberalised code-share agreement. It would enable airlines of both sides to join hands with airlines of third countries for operating extended services to various destinations. Indian carriers are eyeing operating flights to New Zealand through code-share agreement with Air New Zealand.

"This agreement would increase the number of direct flights on India-Hong Kong route and intensify competition among airlines. The move is in the overall interest of passengers and growth in trade and tourism," the statement added.

The move comes at a time when the Indian government is planning to relax the guidelines to fly overseas by domestic carriers.

This would allow start-up airlines such as Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet to start international operation. The country's largest low-cost carrier Air Deccan plans to fly globally early next year. Jet Airways, the only private carrier of the country having a strong foothold across the world, is also looking at aggressively expanding its international operation.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 05:02 AM   #2328
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Indian carriers fly directly to Hong Kong
20 December 2007
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Connectivity on the important India-Hong Kong and more importantly to the west coast of US via southeast Asia is all set to improve. Passengers would have choice of more - and possibly cheaper - direct flights to Hong Kong and no longer be required to transit through Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok.

With China yet to permit more flights, HK can also be used by Indian carriers to provide onward connections to the west cost. For example, a leading private Indian carrier's Mumbai-Shanghai-San Francisco flight is yet to be cleared because of an ongoing impasse with China over allowing one of its cargo airlines to some Indian cities due to security concerns.

Ending years of deadlock on the issue of bilateral traffic rights, India and Hong Kong held talks successfully here this week. Led by aviation ministry joint secretary R K Singh, the two sides agreed to allow 27 new services for each side to the existing eight every week. "While the Indian side can operate these 27 services from any point in India, the Hong Kong carriers can operate 10 services to Delhi, six services to Mumbai and 11 services altogether to Bangalore, Chennai and Calcutta. Chennai was added as a new point of call during these talks for the Hong Kong side," said an aviation ministry statement.

An agreement was also reached on the exercise of "fifth freedom beyond traffic rights". Out of the 27 services, Indian carriers will be able to operate 14 services to West Coast cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver. Reciprocally, the Hong Kong carrier can exercise beyond fifth freedom rights through India on 14 services to Europe excluding UK.

The two sides also had a code share agreements for their airlines and also with a third country carrier. "Indian carriers are already looking at serving New Zealand through code share over Hong Kong with Air New Zealand," said the statement.
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Old December 23rd, 2007, 06:18 PM   #2329
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入伙9年申撥20億建總部
民航處低估用量捱轟

22/12/2007


【本報訊】赤繮角香港國際機場啟用不足十年,卻爆出民航處當年低估用量且沒有預留擴建用地,致航空管制大樓現時面臨逼爆的危機,需急覓地另建,運輸及房屋局已向立法會申請撥款近二十億元興建新總部大樓,希望急建新大樓在二○一二年底啟用。議員批評事件極不尋常,又質疑新大樓部分設施過於豪華及並非必要,要求民航處提供更多資料,並促請審計署介入調查。

不可能原址重建
運輸及房屋局向立法會財委會申請撥款十九億九千七百萬元,在赤繮角機場島興建民航處新總部大樓。民航處處長羅崇文昨日向立法會工務小組委員會解釋,現有的航空管制系統無法應付二○一二年以後的預期航空交通量,由於空管中心必須二十四小時不停運作,不可能在原址重建或更換系統,必須興建新大樓以容納新系統。如撥款順利通過,新大樓將於明年九月動工,在二○一一年底竣工,最快可在二○一二年底啟用。

立會議員郭家麒質疑民航處,有否善用鄰近的亞洲博覽館及機場酒店的會議設施。羅崇文承認,當局在九二至九三年規劃時低估了航空交通量增長,以致舊大樓啟用九年間過境航班竟增長超過一倍。民航處在規劃新大樓時,已預留了大量地方作擴建之用,預計新空管系統可用到二○二五年,經擴建後更最少可用到二○三五年,但他不肯保證沒再低估未來用量。
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Old December 24th, 2007, 04:46 AM   #2330
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World first as Chek Lap Kok unveils new wind-shear system
19 December 2007
South China Morning Post

An improved wind-shear alert system to warn aircraft of potentially dangerous changes in wind conditions at the airport was unveiled by the Observatory yesterday.

The Lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) system consists of two stations - one on each runway - that collect wind data at Chek Lap Kok and send wind-shear alerts to air traffic control. Hong Kong's airport is the first in the world to use such a system.

Using lasers of infrared light, the system can detect any wind shear below 1,500 feet (457.2 metres). They have a range of up to 10 sq km and can detect wind shear with an accuracy rate of 90 per cent.

Before the introduction of the dual system, one station covered both runways.

Wind shear is the difference in wind speed and direction over a short distance in the atmosphere, and can cause major problems for pilots on landing and take-off.

The Observatory has previously said that since Chek Lap Kok airport opened in 1998, about one in 500 flights had reported significant wind shear.

Acting Assistant Director of the Observatory Shun Chi-ming said wind shear was commonly found at the Hong Kong airport due to the terrain of Lantau Island. "Wind shear can be found even on a bright sunny day," Mr Shun said.

He said wind shear was mainly found in autumn and sometimes during topical cyclones in summer. He hopes airlines will install equipment on planes so the alerts can go directly to the pilots rather than via the air traffic control tower.

The system cost HK$18 million.

Observatory director Lam Chiu-ying said he was very proud of the system. Hong Kong International Airport is the only airport in the world to use a dual infrared system to monitor wind shear.

"Even the Americans are copying us as they are introducing the dual system," Mr Lam said.
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Old December 24th, 2007, 09:18 AM   #2331
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Chek Lap Kok urgently needs third runway: university study
21 December 2007
South China Morning Post

Hong Kong's ambitions as a regional air hub could be threatened unless a third runway is urgently added as the city's busy airport is expected to reach full capacity by 2014, a Chinese University study has warned.

Chek Lap Kok's two runways now handle 54 flights an hour, but could manage more than 60. Given likely growth in air-traffic demand of 5 per cent a year, the airport would run out of capacity after six or seven years, said Law Cheung-kwok, a member of the university's aviation policy and research centre.

"Under the current political and social environment in Hong Kong, this study estimates that it would take about 12 years to build a new runway, from the initial planning and design, through public consultation, construction, to completion," Dr Law said.

The study estimated that each flight at the airport contributes about HK$450,000 in economic benefits to the city - HK$170,000 directly and HK$280,000 indirectly. Assuming 5 per cent annual growth in air traffic, the cost of pollution and a 30 per cent increase in airport capacity with a third runway, the city would be better off by about HK$56 billion compared with having just two runways.

The first stage of a feasibility study into the proposed third runway is due this month. The Airport Authority has suggested building a new runway about 1km from the existing north runway, but the industry and the public have differing views.

The government is understood to have had reservations about the new runway over fears that the airport's financial position would be overburdened. Environmental groups are also opposed to the plan to reclaim land and destroy marine life.

Dr Law said major infrastructure projects in the same area as the airport, such as the proposed landing point for the massive bridge connecting Hong Kong, Macau and Zhuhai, might further complicate the environmental-impact assessments.
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Old December 27th, 2007, 03:13 AM   #2332
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German private jet crashes in Almaty, killing 1 person
AP - Thursday, December 27

ALMATY, Kazkhstan - A privately owned German jet crashed and exploded while taking off from an airport in Kazakhstan's commercial capital on Wednesday, killing one passenger and injuring three crewmembers, officials said.

The Challenger 604 business jet had been on its way from Hannover, Germany, to Hong Kong and landed for refueling at the Almaty airport. While taking off early Wednesday, it veered off the runway and exploded, Almaty rescue service said in a statement.

Two pilots and a flight attendant were injured and the single passenger on board died in the accident, it said.

The passenger was not identified by name, and the reason for the crash was not immediately clear.
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Old December 27th, 2007, 11:27 AM   #2333
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New air service pact with mainland to ease passenger, cargo restrictions
27 December 2007
South China Morning Post

Mainland and Hong Kong authorities have signed a new round of air service agreements under which they will gradually remove restrictions for passenger and cargo transport, state media reported.

The number of airlines operating between the two jurisdictions will be increased from next summer, the report said. Hong Kong officials will unveil details of the arrangement at a press conference today.

"The level of passenger and cargo traffic will be increased," mainland newspaper Ta Kung Pao quoted a General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) official as saying.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed between the CAAC and Hong Kong, cargo flights from Beijing and Shanghai to Hong Kong will increase by 14 flights a week starting from summer and autumn next year, while other places of origin will have no restrictions.

For passenger flights, restrictions on the number of flights from the seven busiest mainland cities - Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Kunming, Dalian and Chengdu - to Hong Kong will be relaxed gradually starting from next summer.

Limits on flights from 49 other mainland cities will be removed completely.

Three passenger airlines and two cargo carriers will be allowed to fly to all seven established routes from next summer.

Starting from winter next year and spring 2009, four passenger airlines and three cargo carriers will be allowed to fly to the seven routes.

For other routes there will be no limitations on operator numbers.

The mainland and Hong Kong signed a similar air services arrangement last year, increasing access to major mainland commercial centres.

The arrangement, which government officials said had strengthened links between Hong Kong and the mainland, also enhanced the competitiveness of Hong Kong International Airport and strengthened Hong Kong's status as an international and regional aviation centre.
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Old December 27th, 2007, 02:23 PM   #2334
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From news.gov.hk:
HK strengthens regional aviation ties
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Old January 6th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #2335
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By [email protected] from HKADB :















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Old January 7th, 2008, 05:54 AM   #2336
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HK airline blocks VIPs' armed guards
No guns on board after pilot outcry

6 January 2008
South China Morning Post

Bodyguards carrying military-issue pistols have been banished from Dragonair planes flying domestic routes on the mainland following an outcry from pilots of the Hong Kong-based airline.

No armed bodyguards have boarded Dragonair jets hired, together with their crews, to fly Air China routes under a so-called "wet lease" agreement since the Hong Kong pilots protested publicly about them nine months ago.

The controversy has sparked international debate in the aviation industry about drawing up rules for the use of armed guards on civilian aircraft.

Dragonair pilots were told in a management memo in October 2006 to allow armed bodyguards for VIPs, carrying QSZ-92 pistols and ammunition, to board six Airbus A330 and A320 passenger jets operating flights serving between Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department rules banning firearms from planes were waived for the wet-leased flights, and armed bodyguards flew five times between November 2006 and February last year.

Guns and ammunition were supposed to be separated before the bodyguards boarded the planes, but on the only known occasion on which the captain asked a VIP guard to produce his gun - on a Shanghai to Beijing flight on December 6, 2006 - the weapon was fully loaded.

Pilots voiced fears that the armed bodyguards - assigned to guard individual senior politicians or VIPs - were not answerable to the captain and carried guns that could blow a hole in a plane's fuselage.

Although the policy of allowing armed bodyguards on board remains in place, not one has been allowed on a wet-leased Dragonair plane since the pilots' protests became public in March.

"It may be a huge coincidence, but it is more likely to be sensitivity to the situation with regard to Dragonair pilots," said one pilot. "Either way, it has defused a potentially very volatile situation."

A Dragonair spokeswoman confirmed there had been no instances of armed bodyguards boarding wet-leased flights since the controversy early last year and said the scaling back of its arrangement with Air China meant it was unlikely there would be any such instances in future.

She said only one wet-leased Dragonair jet was now operating on the mainland - flying between Shanghai and Shenzhen - and the arrangement was due to end in mid-year.

Flights operated under the wet-lease arrangement must still carry an Air China in-flight security guard armed with a short dagger, handcuffs, rope, torch, screwdriver and pliers and authorised to act independently to subdue a hijacker.

Pilots objected to the in-flight security guards and the issue, along with the question of armed VIP bodyguards, was raised with mainland aviation officials at a meeting of the International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations in Beijing in September to discuss security.

Discussions between pilot groups and civil aviation bodies internationally are continuing.

David Newbery, president of the Hong Kong Airline Pilots Association, said: "We hope that ongoing discussions will lead to a greater harmonisation of protocols and procedures worldwide and better understanding and co-operation."
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Old January 7th, 2008, 06:09 PM   #2337
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Japan's ANA to begin flights from Hong Kong to Tokyo's Haneda
7 January 2008
AFX Asia

TOKYO (Thomson Financial) - All Nippon Airways said Monday it will start daily round-trip flights between Tokyo's Haneda airport and Hong Kong, the latest destination to be served from the Japanese's capital's central hub.

Most international flights to the Tokyo area fly into Narita airport in suburban Chiba prefecture, a journey of more than an hour from the central city.

All Nippon Airways, Japan's second-largest carrier, plans for daily flights between Haneda and Hong Kong starting on April 1, a company spokesman said.

It is part of Japan's aviation deregulation based on the government's Asian Gateway Initiative, which is designed to expand exchanges with Asian countries, the spokesman said.

Haneda, which is Asia's busiest airport, mostly handles domestic flights but in recent years has started service to Seoul and Shanghai.

Japanese airlines are also considering flights between Haneda and Beijing in time for the Beijing Olympic Games in August.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 02:27 PM   #2338
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By Keithlee0302 from a Hong Kong discussion forum :

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old January 9th, 2008, 08:50 AM   #2339
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The Russians are coming
9 January 2008
Daily Telegraph

SYDNEY Airport Corporation said Russian airline Transaero has become the latest carrier to fly into Sydney.

Transaero will begin a new fortnightly charter service to Sydney from Moscow, via Hong Kong, on Boeing 767s.

Sydney Airport chief executive Russell Balding said Transaero is Sydney Airport's 39th global carrier, with Moscow becoming the airport's 52nd destination.

Mr Balding said the airline is established and growing and would give more choice for international tourists wanting to travel to Australia.
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Old January 11th, 2008, 05:09 PM   #2340
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