Statement of Transport and Housing Bureau on new Air Traffic Management System

     The Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) was informed by the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of a display degrade in a very small number of workstations of the new Air Traffic Management System (ATMS) during the Phased Functional Implementation (PFI) yesterday (October 27). The workstations concerned were unable to process certain data not commonly used. 
     The THB considers that aviation safety is of utmost importance. The incident, which happened prior to the full commissioning of the new ATMS, is of concern to the THB. A meeting between the Bureau and the Department was held this morning (October 28), at which the CAD reported the incident in detail. The Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, has instructed the CAD to review the display degrade incident and learn from its experience. The CAD has also issued a press release on the incident. 
     The purpose of the PFI, which commenced in June 2016, is to provide staff with more hands-on practice and at the same time let the system handle more live situations and circumstances. Such experience will help further improve the system and the familiarity of air traffic controllers with the system.  
     While the system safety, stability and reliability of the new ATMS have recently been confirmed by the THB’s consultant, who is also confident that the CAD is ready for full commissioning, the THB will invite the independent consultant to assess the impact of the said incidents, if any, on the system's readiness. 
     The CAD's plan is to fully commission the new ATMS by end October/November after a series of PFI sessions with live traffic, and it has been working towards this. The new ATMS will only be commissioned when both the system and the staff have achieved a high level of readiness. The public and all stakeholders can rest assured that the THB and the CAD will spare no effort in ensuring the safe and stable transition to the new ATMS, and aviation safety will not be compromised under any circumstance. The CAD will continue to monitor and assess the performance of the air traffic controllers and the system in the final stage of the PFI, and report back to the THB. Subject to the progress of the PFI, factors such as weather conditions and the advice of the THB's independent consultant, the new ATMS will be fully commissioned.

Ends/Friday, October 28, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:53