Hong Kong Aircraft Parking Update: Part 3 – Airport Operations, Alternates, and CIQ
This is a post by author Edmond Yuen. Edmond is head of Trip Support Services, Asia-Pacific, for Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., located in Hong Kong. Edmond is an expert on business aircraft operations in Asia and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This business aviation blog post continues from our article last week, entitled "Hong Kong Aircraft Parking Update: Part 2 – Permits, PPRs, and Airport Slots."
While business aircraft operators traveling to Hong Kong (VHHH) will face overnight parking denials from time to time, there are tips to keep in mind to improve your odds of securing aircraft parking. It’s always best to plan ahead and submit requests 30 days in advance. If parking for your requested schedule is denied, you may keep submitting parking requests, but your success in obtaining parking will be more likely if you have as much lead time as possible.
The following is an overview of what you need to know when operating to Hong Kong:
1. Airport alternates for VHHH
If you’re not able to arrange overnight parking at VHHH, the best alternate to consider is Macau (VMMC). Hydrofoil ferry services (under one hour) are available between Macau and Hong Kong, in addition to scheduled downtown-to-downtown helicopter services. Be aware, however, that available parking fills up at VMMC on a regular basis. Other alternates to consider, for overnight or long-term parking, include Clark (RPLC) and Subic Bay (RPLB) – at 570 nautical miles (NM) and 577 NM, respectively, from VHHH – in the Philippines, and Taipei (RCTP) and Kaohsiung (RCKH) – at 436 NM and 358 NM from VHHH – in Taiwan. You’ll need landing permits for all these destinations.
2. Parking alternates in China
While it may seem tempting to reposition for parking purposes to the China mainland – Shenzhen (ZGSZ) is just 21 NM from VHHH – this can be challenging. To use a mainland China airport as a parking alternate, you’ll need a landing permit and appropriate visas for all onboard. To secure a landing permit, the operator must supply a sponsor letter from a locally based sponsor in China. Additionally, all non-mainland China-registered aircraft (including aircraft registered in Hong Kong and Macau) will be charged a "compensation fee," about $3,000 USD per entry into China, in addition to navigation and other fees.
3. Parking extensions at VHHH
Be aware that a new request must be submitted to airport authorities whenever an operator wishes to extend parking beyond the time period that it’s been approved. If this is not done, a warning letter will be sent by airport authorities to the entity that requested the Prior Permission Required (PPR). The letter will state that you have violated the Aeronautical Information Circular, and it will ask for an explanation from the operator. At this time there are no published regulations indicating fines, or banning of an operator, for overstaying a PPR.
4. Drop and go’s
While overnight parking may be unavailable for General Aviation (GA) operations, short-term parking to drop off/pick up passengers is always possible at VHHH. The real concern for airport authorities is overnight parking as they need to ensure sufficient available parking for scheduled commercial operations. Over the next few years, an additional runway may be built, along with taxi areas to offer more parking. However, with the increase of scheduled commercial flights to this location, these additional runway and taxiways may not result in additional parking for GA operations.
5. More parking specifics
Note that there are only a few designated parking spots at VHHH that are self-taxi in/out. For this type of parking, you’ll taxi to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) and then self-taxi to the assigned parking spot. In most cases, however, parking spots at VHHH are tow-in/tow-out. It’s not necessary for the operator to carry a tow bar as the local ground handler has all the ground support equipment necessary to move your aircraft.
6. CIQ procedures
Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance at VHHH is done at the GAT for all GA operations. Clearance for 10 or fewer passengers usually takes less than 15 minutes.
7. Peak hours of operation
Peak hours for scheduled commercial activity at VHHH are 0700-0900 local and 1800-2000 local. These peak periods, however, have little impact on GA because operators already have approved airport slots and PPRs.
8. Additional information
Full aircraft support services, including a wide range of in-flight catering options, are available at VHHH, and credit arrangements can be made with advance notice. Be aware that when you park at the GAT, it’s difficult – and often time-consuming – to arrange access to your aircraft prior to day of departure. Crew must clear security at the GAT and be escorted by the ground handler at all times. This process may take a couple of hours to arrange.
9. Additional reading: Hong Kong Aircraft Parking – Series Index
- Hong Kong Aircraft Parking Update: Part 1 – Parking & PPRs
- Hong Kong Aircraft Parking Update: Part 2 – Permits, PPRs, and Airport Slots
- Hong Kong Aircraft Parking Update: Part 3 – Airport Operations, Alternates, and CIQ
Hong Kong airport authorities are looking to build a third runway at VHHH, and this may increase parking capacity. However, as scheduled commercial traffic to this location increases, this may not result in additional GA parking. In the foreseeable future, we do not expect any improvement to the current parking challenges at VHHH.
If you have any questions about this article or about operating to Hong Kong, contact me at email@example.com.