Hong Kong Parking & Slot Restrictions – Part 1: VHHH Requirements & Airport Slots
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 email@example.com.
This is part one of a two-part article series on business aircraft operations and parking issues for Hong Kong.
Aircraft parking and airport slot issues have intensified at Hong Kong (VHHH) over recent years, and the situation continues to become more challenging. Today, we’re seeing more and more cases of General Aviation (GA) operators not being able to land or depart VHHH on the days they want. To mitigate risk, ensure that arrangements such as landing permits and slots are made in advance, and be aware that changes to the schedule may be required depending on slot availability.
The following is an overview of what you need to know:
1. Requirements for Hong Kong
When operating to VHHH, you need to have a landing permit, arrival and departure airport slots, and parking confirmation. Landing permits are issued by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), parking is controlled by airport authorities, and airport slots are provided by the CAA-controlled slot coordinator. Slots for VHHH are always needed, even for tech stops and drop and goes.
2. Landing permits
To obtain a landing permit for Hong Kong, you’ll need to forward aircraft documents with your permit request – including certificates of airworthiness and registration, noise certificate, and specific worldwide insurance. These documents, however, do not need to be presented upon arrival.
3. Airport slots
In the past VHHH airport authorities often allowed operators to depart at any time during the day, regardless of pre-approved slot time. They’ve now become much stricter in terms of operators meeting confirmed slot times, within +/- 20 minutes. There are very few slots available for GA, and the slot situation here is becoming quite challenging due to high traffic congestion at the airport. If you miss a slot time, you’ll receive a letter by CAA requesting an explanation. It’s not uncommon for slots to not be available for the entire day – meaning that you cannot travel to VHHH. While a new third runway will open at some point, slot numbers are not being increased at this time. For more information on VHHH slot compliance, see AIC 19/14.
4. Slot confirmations
When a slot is approved, you’ll receive a confirmation, but this does not need to be noted on your flight plan. Air Traffic Control (ATC), however, will check to confirm that you do have a slot approved for your day of operation.
5. Slot compliance
When filing flight plans, you must indicate the time your slot is approved for. However, from our experience ATC often accepts flight plans with slots at non-coordinated times – e.g., slot approved for 1700 local, but flight plan filed at 1200 local. The issue here is that you’ll receive letter from CAA, later, requesting an explanation for the mis-coordination. Authorities reserve the right to put the non-compliant operator on a black list or on lower priority for future slots. Be mindful that ATC has the right to deny a flight plan if you’re trying to operate outside of approved slot times.
6. Slot requests
Airport slots for VHHH are obtained on a website. This is a paid service requiring a login/password. Once online, you’ll be able to see all available slots in real-time, and you may obtain slots immediately. Note, however, that slots may only be obtained up to seven days prior to arrival/departure. This seven-day window applies only to GA and is strictly enforced. Emergency flights – along with state, military, and humanitarian missions – are exempt from airport slot requirements so long as they’re properly designated on the flight plan and have CAA prior approval.
Arrival and departure slots are required for GA operators but can only be requested seven days in advance. Note that due to high traffic congestion there are cases where no slots at all may be available. Ensure that your landing permit is obtained, and note specific insurance requirements for this request.
Stay tuned for Part 2, which covers parking and airport services for operating to Hong Kong.
If you have any questions about this article or would like assistance planning your next trip to VHHH, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.