Regulatory Update: Hong Kong Slots & Parking

> | August 24, 2016 | 0 Comments
|

Regulatory Update: Hong Kong Slots & Parking

For business aircraft operators, obtaining airport slots for Hong Kong (VHHH) had been a somewhat relaxed process in the past. There were no penalties, for example, for not using a confirmed slot, and operators were often able to depart VHHH without an airport slot. This all changes on September 1, 2016 with new regulatory requirements impacting VHHH airport slot and parking request procedures. Here is what you need to know:

1. September 27, 2016 changes

Beginning September 27, general aviation (GA) operators must obtain an airport arrival slot for VHHH before parking can be requested and confirmed. Once a slot request is conditionally approved you’ll have 48 hours to confirm parking and ground handling arrangements, via a prior permission required (PPR) process. Note that slots may be requested no more than 14 days prior to day of operation. For example, on September 27 you’ll be able to request slots as far out as October 10. Then, using the provided slot approval number, parking may be requested–but only within the next 48 hours. It’s important to also note that although you may receive an arrival slot you’ll not be able to request a departure slot until 14 days prior to ETD.However, please also note that the parking duration for each application is set to a maximum of 14 calendar days.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

2. Ground handling

Effective September 27, ground handling requests should be applied for at the same time as the aircraft parking.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

3. Why these change were made

In early 2016, VHHH introduced more stringent requirements for having both arrival and departure slots. As a result, many operators began obtaining slots and holding them for the “just in case” scenarios. Then, if not needed, they would release these slots last minute. This resulted in many slots becoming unusable for other operators. Due to this “slot hoarding” the airport authority often found itself with no slots to offer GA. The non-utilized departure slots also caused many aircraft to remain on the ground with limited availability for aircraft parking.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

4. Impact of new regs

In order to maximize slot availability, and crack down on slot abuse, VHHH is instituting these new guidelines to integrate airport slots, parking and ground handling requests, which formally could be requested via separate entities. Now, slots and parking applications will be coordinated and monitored jointly by the airport authority and slot coordinator. Additionally, there will be penalties for any unused slots not cancelled within 72 hours of arrival/departure. This does not mean, however, that longer parking stays (up to 14 calendar days) will be possible, as this depends upon availability.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

5. Slot and parking confirmations

Beginning September 27, the airport authority and slot coordinator will check to ensure operators have slot, parking, and ground handling arrangement approvals. Those doing tech stops and drop-and-go’s fall under the same category and requirements as everyone else.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

6. Peak periods and best slot request times

Generally, the best time to obtain a GA arrival slot is 0700-0900 local while best availability of departure slots is usually 1100-1400 local. Note that slot deviation for VHHH is +/- two hours, subjects to review by the slot coordinator.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

7. Changes of registry

Under the old rules operators with confirmed slots were able to specify a change of registration. This is no longer possible as of September 27 as a change of aircraft registration cancels any approved slot and parking, and this requires a new application. The exception is an AOG event. In this case the operator may use an existing slot and parking approval with a notation in section 18 of the ICAO flight plan and by sending an email to the airport authority with documentation indicating the AOG situation for post-trip evaluation. It’s at the discretion of the airport authority to evaluate whether the documentation and justification provided is acceptable.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

8. Penalties for non-compliance

Beginning September 27, penalties will be assessed for any unused slot that’s not cancelled at least 72 hours. These will be assessed against the entity that obtained the slots. These penalties are not monetary fines but rather slot access restrictions applicable to the entity that had requested the unused slot. If recorded slot misuse counts are more than 20% of total monthly operations or three counts, whichever is greater, the entity’s online coordinate system (OCS) booking window will be shortened by one day. Repeated and consecutive penalties over a period of three months may lead to termination of the OCS account.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

9. Penalty assessments and exemptions

At the end of each month authorities will identify slots that had not been cancelled in a compliant way and request explanations from operators involved. Under this new scheme the only accepted explanation, to avoid penalty, are aircraft malfunction or interruption of air services due to unforeseen and unavoidable causes. Acceptable reasons could include closure of an airport and/or severe weather but not generic passenger delays.These should be supplemented with documentation to prove the situation to the airport authority.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

10. Program grace period

Note that penalties provided under new VHHH slot rules will begin being issued as of January 2017, based on operator performance in November 2016. Having said that, monitoring will commence on September 27.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

11. Night curfews at VHHH

Previously, VHHH was effectively closed to GA slot requests during late night hours due to noise considerations. This is now being relaxed to make five GA slots available per night between 2200 and 0659 local, beginning on September 12, 2016. Note, however, that while most GA models are permitted to obtain night slots it depends on whether or not your aircraft type is on the airport authority list. Note that there are two such lists – one for departure and one for arrival – where the aircraft can be included in either list, but not in both. It’s important to review these lists carefully before applying for night slots at VHHH. For example, the Gulfstream G550 and Dassault Falcon 7X are on the arrival list, but not the departure one.
9/23/2016: Updated by the author

Conclusion

While new airport slot and parking procedures for VHHH will be a learning experience for both operators and the airport authority, the hope is that limited GA parking resources will be better utilized and more reliably available for operators. Knowing the new rules, and various nuances, of the new regs should help ensure smoother and more successful operations to VHHH.

“Introducing
|

Category : Best Practice

Related Posts

About

An expert on operations to Asia, Edmond Yuen has more than 10 years’ experience in business aviation. Edmond, who currently serves as head of Universal® Trip Support Asia, is based in Hong Kong and is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, and English. Prior to joining Universal, Edmond served eight years as an operations manager for a major Asian charter company. Edmond’s expertise in operations is recognized throughout the business aviation industry, and he is frequently requested to speak on panels at events such as the Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exposition, as well as by industry publications. Edmond, who is a private pilot, can be reached at edmondyuen@univ-wea.com

Operational Insight is a moderated blog.
Before adding your comments, please read our Comment Policy.