LCQ17: Baggage delivery service of the Hong Kong International Airport

     Following is a question by the Hon Yiu Si-wing and the written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council today (October 14):


     Some members of the public have complained to me that the time taken by the Hong Kong International Airport (the Airport) for delivering passenger baggage from arriving aircraft to the Baggage Reclaim Hall (baggage delivery time) has been getting longer and longer in recent years, and some members of the public could only reclaim their baggage more than 90 minutes after flight landing.  As shown by the annual report of the Airport, the percentages of the first and last pieces of baggage of arriving aircraft being delivered to the Baggage Reclaim Hall within 20 minutes and 40 minutes after landing respectively fell from 98.1 and 96.9 in 2010-2011 to 91.5 and 92 in 2013-2014.  Although the performance improved slightly in 2014-2015, it still lagged behind the level in 2010-2011.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether it knows if the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) has drawn up any performance pledge on baggage delivery time; if AAHK has, of the details, and whether the authorities have introduced penalties on AAHK's failure to meet the performance pledge; if they have, of the details;

(2) whether it knows the respective percentages, in each of the past five years, of the last piece of baggage of arriving aircraft being delivered to the Baggage Reclaim Hall within 60, 90 and 120 minutes as well as more than 120 minutes after landing (set out in Table 1); and

(3) given that construction works are being carried out by AAHK to enhance the passenger handling capacity of the Airport, whether it knows the measures to be implemented by AAHK to enhance the efficiency of baggage delivery?



     Our reply to the question raised by the Hon Yiu Si-wing is as follows:

(1) The Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is one of the busiest airports in the world.  It handles over 1 100 flight movements and 170 000 passengers every day.  Responsible for managing the HKIA, the Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) strives to maintain the service quality of HKIA in different areas, and attaches great importance to baggage handling service.  Over the years, the AA has been putting in resources to enhance the operational efficiency of the baggage handling system.

     The AA has set up performance indicators in respect of baggage handling service at the HKIA.  The first and last piece of hold baggages from an arrival flight must be delivered to the Baggage Reclaim Hall respectively within 20 and 40 minutes after landing.  However, there are various factors, such as weather conditions and manpower deployment etc., which may affect baggage delivery performance.

     Currently, ramp handling operators (RHOs) employed by airlines are generally responsible for handling and delivering passengers' hold baggage.  Operators providing ramp handling service are required to obtain operation licences issued by the AA, and are subject to monitoring.  Airlines can choose any RHO which possesses a valid licence to provide service.  To maintain the quality of baggage delivery service, the AA has established a monitoring mechanism, which includes conducting regular review with the RHOs on their baggage handling service.  For the operators who are unable to meet the service standard, the AA will issue warning letters demanding them to ensure service quality.  Otherwise, the operators' opportunity for bidding future service contracts at the HKIA will be affected.

(2) The performance of baggage delivery service at the HKIA from financial year 2010-11 to 2014-15 is set out in table 2.

(3) In response to the increase in air traffic movements and passenger throughput, the AA regularly reviews the existing baggage handling process.  It also actively discusses with airlines and the RHOs on ways to improve the overall performance of baggage handling at the HKIA, with a view to ensuring its smooth operation and efficiency.

     The AA has implemented various measures to improve the quality of baggage handling service.  Starting from the end of last year, the number of dollies that a baggage tractor can tow has been increased from four to six to enhance the handling capacity of each tractor.  In early this year, the AA has implemented a "Ground Service Equipment" driving qualification scheme at Airport Restricted Area.  The scheme aims to encourage more staff members with the prerequisite experience to acquire the certification to drive a baggage delivery vehicle, which will increase the number of such vehicles that can be operated.  Furthermore, an automated baggage system is being designed to shorten the time needed for baggage handling.

     Meanwhile, the AA has been maintaining contact with business partners to understand their operations at the airport.  Apart from enhancing system efficiency, the AA also organises job fairs in different districts to help its business partners, including the RHOs, to recruit manpower.  Between 2011 and 2015, the AA organised the "Hong Kong International Airport Job Expo" four times at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre to attract talents to join the aviation sector for a variety of career opportunities with a view to enhancing the overall service quality of the HKIA.

Ends/Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Issued at HKT 14:30