LCQ3: Allocation of aircraft parking stands


Following is a question by the Hon Bernard Chan and a reply by the Acting Secretary for Economic Services, Mr Leo Kwan, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):


I have observed that, although some parking bays immediately adjacent to air-bridges are left idle, many aircrafts are directed to park at bays far away from the passenger terminal building, thus necessitating the use of airport buses to transfer passengers. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:

(a) how the Airport Authority allocates parking bays;

(b) the percentages of passengers who are transferred in airport buses; and

(c) if the Airport Authority has any plan to minimise the use of remote parking bays after the opening of the Northwest Concourse Extension?


Madam President,

(a) The Airport Authority allocates aircraft parking stands in accordance with established criteria that seeks to optimise the overall utilisation of aircraft parking facilities, particularly "frontal" stands, i.e. served by airbridges. The main criteria used are:

(i) scheduled flights will receive priority over non-scheduled (e.g. charter) services;

(ii) wide bodied aircraft and longhaul flights will receive priority over narrow bodied aircraft and shorthaul flights, thereby ensuring that aircraft with more passengers and passengers who have been subjected to a long journey time would have a better chance of being served by airbridges;

(iii) all things being equal, aircraft will be allocated frontal stands on a first come first served basis.

In practice, airlines may for their own operational reasons choose to use a remote stand rather than a frontal stand. There have been occasions where airlines have chosen to use a remote stand because it is close to the equipment of their ground handling agents, rather than a frontal stand at a location which they consider to be inconvenient to them.

In addition, for operational reasons, scheduling of parking stands has to allow a time gap between the departure of an aircraft and the arrival of another. In case of delay of the arriving aircraft, parking stands might have to be held vacant for a slightly longer period of time. These situations may give rise to an impression of idle airbridges while remote stands are being used.

(b) The Airport Authority's statistics show that about 11% of passengers need to use the non-airbridge linked stands which are served by airside buses.

(c) The Airport Authority's policy has been to minimise use of remote stands and its criteria for allocation of stands have taken this into account. At present, the Hong Kong International Airport has 37 frontal stands and 27 remote stands for passenger aircraft. The opening of the Northwest Concourse will increase the number of frontal stands by 11. By then, more aircraft passengers will be able to use airbridge. However, given the air traffic demands at peak times and reasons explained before in relation to (a), there will continue to be a certain percentage of passenger aircraft which will make use of remote stands at the airport.

End/Wednesday, November 11, 1998