For discussion EC(96-97)12
on 8 May 1996


Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent post in the Civil Aviation Department with effect from 1 June 1996 -

1 Chief Air Traffic Control Officer
(D1) ($80,450 - $85,400)


The existing establishment and directorate structure of the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) need to be strengthened in order to cope with new commitments and the increase in workload in air traffic control operations arising from the development of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.


2. The Director of Civil Aviation (DCA) proposes to create one permanent post of Chief Air Traffic Control Officer (D1), entitled Deputy Air Traffic General Manager (Training & Evaluation) to head a new Training & Evaluation Section in the Air Traffic Management Division (ATMD) to cope with the increasing workload and responsibilities.


Creation of a Chief Air Traffic Control Officer post

3. The Air Traffic Management Division of CAD is responsible for the provision of air traffic control (ATC) services and the control of movement of aircraft within Hong Kong’s airspace. The work includes directing all air traffic in Hong Kong’s airspace; the provision of aeronautical information for the safe and efficient conduct of flights; constant review of ATC facilities to further improve operational efficiency; participation in search and rescue missions; and coordination with adjacent air traffic control authorities. During 1995, the Division handled some 182,000 aircraft movements which operated into and out of Kai Tak and over 40,000 aircraft transiting Hong Kong’s airspace.

4. The Air Traffic Management Division is headed by the Air Traffic General Manager at D2 rank, underpinned by two Deputy Air Traffic General Managers (DATGM) at D1 level. The existing organization chart for the Division is at Enclosure 1. Broadly speaking, the DATGM (Procedures for Air Navigation Services - Aircraft Operations (PANSOPS), System and Standards) is responsible for developing ATC and flight procedures, updating, revising and publishing operational aeronautical documents, specifying and processing the acquisition of new ATC equipment, supervising internal examinations for Air Traffic Control Officers (ATCOs) and overseeing search and rescue operations. The other DATGM (Air Traffic Services Procedures and Personnel Management) is responsible for overseeing the operation of the ATC system, liaison with other ATC authorities and the regional office of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), overall management and supervision of some 180 watchkeeping staff (who direct aircraft movements), recruitment and training of ATC staff and other administrative matters such as budgetting, personnel and management of general grade staff within the Division.

5. The development of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok (CLK) will increase the workload and responsibilites of the ATMD. The new airport is some 28 km west of Kai Tak and closer to other nearby airports of Shenzhen, Zhuhai and Macau. CAD needs to review and redesign new flight procedures, both approach and departure, to take account of the differences in location, geographical terrain, airfield layout and characteristics of the runway. In addition, the senior management of the Division needs to step up intra-regional liaison and coordination with neighbouring ATC authorities for the operation of the modified flight manoeuvres and the realignment of air route arrangements. New ATC equipment and a network of ground based navigational aids will also need to be installed to provide guidance to aircraft operating into and out of the new airport. DCA anticipates that the volume of air traffic to be handled will increase significantly as the new airport will be operating on a 24-hour basis and its runway capacity will increase from the current level of 29 aircraft movements per hour at Kai Tak to some 37-38 movements per hour. At the same time, overflights are projected to increase at a rate of 10-15 % per annum, as regional air traffic in particular continues to grow.

6. The work at the DATGM level has increased immensely in recent years. In addition to overseeing publishing procedures for air navigation services and aircraft operations in Hong Kong airspace and ensuring that ATC staff conform with the operational standards and practices, the DATGM (PANSOPS, System and Standards) has an added responsibility for supervising the development of new procedures and the specification of technical requirements for the acquisition of new ATC equipment for the new airport and also for evaluation of these new flight procedures and air traffic flow patterns through radar simulation exercises to confirm their flyability and safe operation. The DATGM (Air Traffic Services Procedures and Personnel Management) oversees the recruitment and training of all ATC staff and manages all watchkeeping personnel in the Division. In the past two years, some 45 ATCOs and 30 Air Traffic Flight Services Officers (ATFSOs) have been recruited. Another 55 ATCO and 30 ATFSO posts will need to be filled in the next 18 months to meet demand arising from the steady increase in air traffic volumes at Kai Tak and associated with the opening of the new airport. All newly recruited and in-service ATC staff will need to go through intensive familiarisation and conversion training to prepare them for the transition to the new airport. These training programmes must be carefully designed and coordinated to ensure that they are able to provide training to meet the operational requirements for the new airport while at the same time not impair, in any way, the current ATC operations or standards of aviation safety. In addition, the DATGM needs to step up liaison and coordination with neighbouring aviation authorities in ensuring that the new flight procedures proposed for the new airport are compatible with the operational requirements of other nearby airports.

7. DCA considers that it will be difficult for the two DATGMs to provide sufficient supervisory attention and direction to staff to cope with the additional increase in workload resulting from the change in the operational environment and the increased demands as a result of the commissioning of the new airport. DCA has reviewed the directorate structure of the ATMD and concluded that it must be strengthened by the creation of an additional Chief Air Traffic Control Officer (CATCO) post to meet the challenges ahead as described in the preceding paragraphs. DCA will assign the proposed CATCO to head a new Training and Evaluation Section to implement and maintain the high standards of ATC, oversee the evaluation of the integrity of the new flight procedures, liaise with other ATC authorities in the region, and manage and coordinate training programmes for the timely provision of properly trained ATC personnel.

8. In the longer run, as air traffic continues to increase and with the future expansion of the new airport, the proposed CATCO will have a greater responsibility on planning ahead to meet future growth and oversee on-going evaluation and modification of flight procedures which are constantly reviewed to maximise operational efficiency. Training commitments after the opening of the new airport will continue as he will need to organise and oversee various training and refresher courses for in-service ATC staff to update their knowledge and technical expertise, and closely supervise comprehensive training programmes for all newly recruited staff. In addition, work associated with the evaluation of flight procedures will continue to require supervision and direction as the management of airspace in the region becomes more complex with the increase in regional air traffic operational efficiency and will need to be modify them.

9. The proposed organisation chart for the Air Traffic Management Division and the job description for the proposed CATCO post are at Enclosures 2 and 3 respectively.


10. The additional notional annual mid-point salary cost is -

$ No. of Post

New permanent post






The full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and staff on-costs, is $1,549,872. In addition, this proposal will necessitate the creation of one additional non-directorate post at a notional annual mid-point salary cost of $149,520 and a full annual average staff cost of $259,440. We have made sufficient provision in the 1996-97 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal.


11. Civil Service Branch agrees that there is a need for additional support at the directorate level to oversee training and evaluation to meet new demands and increased work in the new airport. The grading and ranking of the post are appropriate having regard to the job nature.


12. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposed for the permanent post would be appropriate if the post were to be created.

Economic Services Branch
April 1996

Enclosure 3 to EC(96-97)12

Job Description of the Proposed Deputy Air Traffic General Manager (Training and Evaluation)

Title : Deputy Air Traffic General Manager

(Training and Evaluation)

Responsible to : Air Traffic General Manager

Responsible for :-

  1. Directing the operation of the Air Traffic Management Training and Evaluation Section.
  2. Directing evaluation and review of new flight procedures as well as new ATC operating procedures for the new airport by the use of radar or procedural simulators. Liaising with other ATC authorities in the region to develop a set of safe and efficient air traffic control system and procedures.
  3. Formulating recruitment policies and recommending recruitment strategies to the Air Traffic General Manager. Conducting overseas recruitment exercise and approving the selection of local candidates. In conjunction with the Administration Division, ensuring that adequate number of staff are employed at the target dates.
  4. Formulating training policies, especially those for ab initio and local validation, overseas and management training.
  5. Liaising with overseas training institutes for the provision of special training packages for Hong Kong controllers.
  6. Ensuring the training methods and technique of the instructors are in conformity with international standards and practices.
  7. Scrutinising and approving overseas courses for local staff, supervising the organisation of exchange programme for ATC personnel of Hong Kong and neighbouring countries and managing the overall training programme for ATMD.
  8. Organising local conversion courses for overseas recruits and refresher courses for in-service officers to ensure high professional standards and proficiency are maintained.
  9. Supervising the conversion and familiarisation training of all ATC staff in respect of the use of new equipment and the application of new procedures at the new airport.
  10. Directing the procurement of training equipment and simulator facilities and ensuring their efficient and proper use.
  11. Preparing estimates in respect of Personnel Emolument, Annual Recurrent Account, other charges and items of new equipment for the Training and Evaluation Section.

Last Updated on 3 December 1998