2022 Hong Kong Sevens: Business Aviation Planning Guide
The popular Hong Kong Sevens tournament is one of the most popular sporting events in Asia, It will be played for the first time in three years Nov. 4-6, 2022. The Hong Kong Sevens is a World Rugby Sevens Series competition. For many international attendees traveling to the tournament, this will be the first time entering Hong Kong since the pandemic.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Hong Kong Sevens Tournament Overview
Considered one of the, if not the, premier rugby sevens tournaments in the world, the annual Hong Kong Sevens attracts significant business aviation traffic annually. This year’s tournament will be held Nov. 4-6th in Hong Kong. Beyond the matches themselves, the tournament is known for its colorful characters and costumes, rowdy atmosphere, and all-night parties.
This year’s tournament will features teams from 16 countries. They are: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, South Africa, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, USA, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Japan, Kenya, Samoa and Hong Kong.
You can also follow the tournament’s official social media channels:
The tournament is played at Hong Kong Stadium in downtown Causeway Bay on Hong Kong island, which is anywhere from a 45-minute to one-hour plus drive from Hong Kong International Airport (VHHH) depending on traffic.
Hong Kong Entry Requirements
Hong Kong no longer requires mandatory hotel quarantine for overseas arrivals and has moved to a 0+3 quarantine arrangement. However, international arrivals must be fully vaccinated and are required to conduct a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) with a negative result within 24 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure of the flight to Hong Kong.
- All inbound persons are required to complete the online Health Declaration Form of the Department of Health (chp.gov.hk/hdf/) prior to their arrival at Hong Kong.
- Inbound persons arriving from overseas places or Taiwan are required to conduct a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) with a negative result within 24 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure of the flight to Hong Kong. These persons are advised to complete the online Health Declaration Form after they have obtained the negative RAT result. After submitting the declaration and upon confirmation of boarding requirements being met, the system will generate a green Health Declaration QR code. Please save the QR code (which can be a downloadable version of the QR code, a screen shot or a printout).
- Please present the green Health Declaration QR code at check-in for verification by airlines for boarding. Please also show the QR code to the border control point staff upon arriving at Hong Kong.
- For arrival via Hong Kong International Airport, the QR code is valid for 96 hours; for arrival via land control points, the QR code is valid for 24 hours.
- Please click hereto read the relevant FAQs for more information on the arrangement for declaration of non-local COVID-19 vaccination record.
- Arrivals holding a visa with insufficient validity period will be denied entry.
Hong Kong operating requirements
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 Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (HKCAD), parking is controlled by Hong Kong Airport Authority, and airport slots are provided by HKCAD-controlled slot coordinator. Slots for VHHH are always needed, even for tech stops and drop and goes.
Prior clearance from HKCAD is required for the operation of private non-revenue flights to and from Hong Kong. Applications should be submitted at least three working days before the anticipated arrival/departure date of the flight in Hong Kong. However, non-frequent or new operators should submit their applications at least two weeks prior to the date of operation to allow sufficient time for processing their applications.
No application form is required, but the following information should be provided:
- Type of aircraft;
- Nationality and registration marks of the aircraft;
- Name of the operator;
- Name of ground handling agent in Hong Kong;
- Proposed dates and times of arrival and departure;
- Confirmation that there will be no fare-paying passengers or commercial cargo on board;
- Completed Declaration of Compliance with the Civil Aviation (Insurance) Order (CAP 448F) form (DCA 41);
- Insurance Certificate that insures the operator in respect of any liability which may be incurred by him/her in respect of Third Party, Passenger, Baggage, Cargo, and Mail for any one event to a Combined Single Limit required in accordance with the Civil Aviation (Insurance) Order; and
- Confirmation that the aircraft meets the requirements for the carriage of radio navigation aids as specified in Section GEN 1.5-1 para 3. of Hong Kong AIP.
VHHH mandates airport slots for all arrivals/departures. Slots are available 24/7 at VHHH, but there are limitations to obtain slots for night hours, 1400-2259 UTC (2200-0659 local), due to noise considerations. Aircraft registration in good standing can obtain slots up to 14 days prior. For the latest information on slots at VHHH, click here.
Maximum duration for parking stand booking in VHHH is 14 days. Extensions are possible but are subject to a case-by-case evaluation by Hong Kong Airport Authority. It should also be noted that the GA designated apron area is designed to accommodate aircraft of size up to Code C of length up to B737-900 (42.11m).
The preferred alternate, when you’re not able to park at VHHH, is VMMC. However, VMMC also gets very busy and may not always be a viable alternate. In this case, you’ll need to reposition farther out – perhaps Hanoi (VVNB), Manila (RPLL), or Kaohsiung (RCKH). Using an alternate mainland airport in China is not the best option for non-B-registered aircraft, as you’ll need permits and special “C” crew visas.
Full support services are available at Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre (HKBAC) along with credit on prior arrangement. When parking on the HKBAC ramp, you’ll generally be able to obtain aircraft services, including fuel uplifts, at your parking spot. However, as parking on the HKBAC ramp can be tight, there will be times when you’ll need to be towed to a departure area for fuel uplift and to obtain some services. While there’s no need to have your own towbar for VHHH, it’s recommended that a towbar is carried, in the event you need to reposition to another destination in the area.
GA fuel uplifts at VHHH are normally via fuel trucks. However, airport authorities are looking at putting hydrant fuel at two of the parking bays. Be aware that fuel uplift delays are possible at this location. If the truck needs to leave to pick up more fuel, this may cause an uplift delay of an additional hour.
Customs, Immigration, and Quarantine (CIQ) clearance for GA operations are completed within the HKBAC. Be mindful that visas may be required, for certain nationalities of passengers/crew members, and these must be obtained prior to arrival. It’s always best to confirm visa requirements with your 3rd-party provider.
It’s recommended that operators have their handler file departure flight plans three to six hours prior to their estimated time of departure. Should you need to reposition your aircraft, after dropping passengers at VHHH, ensure you have all required overflight and landing permits for your alternate destination. When overflying Hong Kong, be aware of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) requirements now in effect. If you’re not ADS-B-equipped, you’ll have to overfly Hong Kong at a lower flight level. And, if you do not have RNP 1 certification, you’ll not be permitted in Hong Kong airspace at all.
The Hong Kong Sevens is more than just a rugby tournament. It’s an international, high-traffic business aviation event, that will have significant impacts on your mission to Hong Kong, even if you’re not attending. Consider working with a trip support provider to help navigate the congestion, coordinate off-airport logistics, and ensure your trip is seamless.