LCQ17: Aircraft noise

     Following is a question by the Hon Ablert Chan and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, in the Legislative Council today (April 18):


     In reply to my question at the meeting of this Council on March 16, 2011, the Government indicated that the Civil Aviation Department had, since October 1998, implemented a series of aircraft noise mitigating measures to minimise the impact of aircraft noise on the districts near the flight paths (including arranging for flights departing Hong Kong between 11pm and 7am to use the southbound route via the West Lamma Channel as far as possible, and directing flights arriving in Hong Kong between midnight and 7am to land from the waters southwest of the airport, so as to avoid aircrafts overflying densely populated areas in the early hours; requiring aircrafts approaching from the northeast to adopt the Continuous Descent Approach when landing, and aircrafts taking off towards the northeast to reach a higher altitude within a shorter distance; and banning aircrafts which have a higher noise level, as defined in the Convention on International Civil Aviation, from landing and taking off in Hong Kong). However, I have learnt that aircraft noise during the aforesaid hours still causes nuisance to residents of quite a number of housing estates, making it difficult for them to sleep. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the monthly data recorded in 2011 and 2012 by various aircraft noise monitoring terminals on aircraft noise levels which reached 70 to 74, 75 to 79, and 80 decibels (dB) or above during the aforesaid hours;

(b) of the types of aircraft the noise levels of which reached 80 dB or above last year and the names of their operating airline companies; and

(c) whether it will further enhance the existing aircraft noise mitigating measures to reduce the nuisance caused to residents in the districts concerned; if it will, of the details?



(a) The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) has 16 noise monitoring terminals.  The aircraft noise events recorded by these terminals in 2011 and 2012 (up to February) by month are set out in Annex 1;

(b) the types of aircraft with noise events exceeding 80 decibels in 2011 and the operating airlines concerned are set out in Annex 2;

(c) To reduce the impact of aircraft noise on the areas in the vicinity of the flight paths, CAD has implemented a series of noise mitigating measures.  Apart from those mentioned in the question, other measures include the following:

(i) to alleviate the aircraft noise impact on Tsing Lung Tau, Sham Tseng and Ma Wan, all aircraft taking off towards the northeast of the airport are required to follow the noise abatement departure procedures prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization so as to reach a higher altitude within a shorter distance; and

(ii) only aircraft which have a lower noise level, as defined in Chapter 3 of Volume I, Part II of Annex 16 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation are allowed to land and take off in Hong Kong.

     In addition, to mitigate the noise impact on Ma Wan, CAD had commissioned a consultant to study the current procedures for aircraft taking off at the Hong Kong International Airport to the northeast and turning south to the West Lamma Channel.  The study recommended that for aircraft which can make use of the satellite navigation technology to follow a set of "Radius-to-Fix" turn procedures when making south turns so that the aircraft can follow the designated flight paths closely during the turn, thereby reducing the noise impact on Ma Wan residents.  CAD has implemented the procedures on February 9, 2012 and is closely monitoring the implementation and compiling data to analyse the impact of the procedures.

Ends/Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Issued at HKT 14:01