For discussion FCR(95-96)126
on 9 February 1996


Subhead 002 Allowances

Members are invited to approve the continued payment of a flight allowance to Senior Operations Officers occupying Flight Operations Inspector posts in the Civil Aviation Department for another two years from 28 January 1996.


The salary scale of Flight Operations Inspectors (FOI) without the flight allowance is not sufficiently attractive to enable the Civil Aviation Department (CAD) to fill the posts.


2. The Director of Civil Aviation (DCA) proposes that the flight allowance scheme for FOIs should be retained for a further period of two years from 28 January 1996. The rate of allowance is based on the difference between the pay of an FOI post and the minimum point of a D1 post on the directorate pay scale. The proposed monthly rates of flight allowance are -

Salary scale
of FOI

Minimum salary of
a D1 officer
Rates of allowance
(c) = (b) - (a)


(MPS 45)




(MPS 46)




(MPS 47)




(MPS 48)




(MPS 49)




3. FOIs are responsible for ensuring that Hong Kong’s airlines operate in a safe manner and comply fully with the statutory requirements and procedures. In particular, they play a key role in advising the DCA on the grant and annual renewal of Air Operators Certificates by examining the operation of Hong Kong airlines. This involves the assessment of airline operational procedures, airline operational manuals, flight crew training standards, safety equipment, the adequacy of facilities at destinations, cabin-crew training, annual operational appraisal, and checking on documentation and maintenance records. FOIs are also responsible for approval of pilot examiners and flight simulators. A detailed job description of the FOIs is at the Enclosure.

4. We require appointees to FOI posts to hold a current Airline Transport Pilot’s licence. They should also have considerable experience both in command of civil jet transport aircraft and in training or airline operations management. Due to the continuing high demand for such well experienced and highly qualified professionals in the international civil aviation industry, the private sector is often able to offer very attractive emoluments and conditions of service to the potential FOIs candidates. For example, a management training Captain with similar qualifications and experience can earn more than $1.7 million per annum plus training and accommodation allowances. The DCA has continued to experience problems with recruitment to fill FOI posts. Since the introduction of the flight allowance in 1989, CAD has conducted five FOI recruitment exercises and only recruited eight FOIs, of whom two resigned prematurely without completing the employment contracts.

5. At present, CAD has five FOIs on its permanent establishment. One additional FOI post will be created in 1996-97 to cope with the additional work arising from new aircraft such as Boeing 777, Airbus A340 and A330 recently introduced in the Hong Kong register and from the rapid fleet expansion. Among the existing FOIs, two have just completed their agreement and will proceed to terminal leave in February this year and another two will be leaving CAD by early 1997. There is therefore an urgent need for CAD to recruit new FOIs immediately to fill these vacancies.

6. Given the continued need to recruit and retain FOIs particularly in view of the forthcoming recruitment exercise to fill the FOI posts later this year, DCA has examined the present position and come to the view that the pay scale of FOIs without the flight allowance will not be able to attract qualified new recruits and to retain existing staff. DCA therefore recommends the retention of the allowance for another two years till end-January 1998. In the mean time, DCA will conduct a review on the FOI grade to identify a long term solution to the problem of recruitment and retention of FOIs.


7. Most FOIs are qualified to enter at Point 49 on the Master Pay Scale. The annual cost of the continued payment of the flight allowance is estimated to be $595,000. Subject to Members’ approval, we will include sufficient provision in the 1996-97 draft Estimates to meet the cost of the proposal .


8. On 14 December 1988, Members first approved the payment of a flight allowance to Senior Operations Officers occupying FOI posts in CAD to help resolve difficulties in filling these posts. Members further approved on 21 February 1992 and 28 January 1994 the continued payment of the flight allowance, each for a period of two years.

Economic Services Branch
February 1996

Enclosure to FCR(95-96)126

Job Description of Flight Operations Inspector

1. Determining and reporting upon the level of operational safety of the holders of Air Operators Certificates by means of inspection and surveillance, including :

1.1. Conducting routine station facility, ramp and base inspections, and any other form of inspection or check considered necessary by Chief, Flight Standards.

1.2. Conducting routine flight deck and cabin inspections during normal line operations and ensuring flight operations procedures are carried out in accordance with the operator’s operations manual and comply with all relevant legislation.

1.3. Continuously reviewing operator’s documentation including operations manuals, training manuals and all other instructions to operating staff.

1.4. Observing flight crew training, monitoring standards and ensuring training is carried out in accordance with the operator’s training manual and complied with all relevant legislation.

2. Ensuring that holders of Air Operators Certificates are aware of any deficiencies found during inspection, and following up on the remedial action taken.

3. The examination of persons nominated by operators for appointment as authorised examiners for the purposes of Schedules 9 and 11 of the Air Navigation (Overseas Territories) Order, 1977.

4. Observing and reporting upon authorised examiners conducting flight crew proficiency checks, including the issue of initial and recurrent approval.

5. Conducting and reporting on flight tests for the approval of flight simulators. The preparation and issue of simulator approval documents.

6. Approval and monitoring operators’ schemes for the prevention of fatigue in aircrew.

7. The inspection and approval of emergency procedures trainers and the persons who control them.

8. Liaison with operators on specialist subjects such as Low Weather Minima Operation, Ground Proximity Warning System, inertial navigation equipment, Traffic Collision Avoidance System, Satellite Communication, etc.

9. The initial vetting of Mandatory Occurrence Reports.

10. Providing advice and assistance on Flight Operations matters as required.

11. The exercise of delegated authority under Articles 3 and Schedule 2, 4(4), (5), (7), (8), (13) and (18), 6, 12, 18(4), 19, 20 and Part C of Schedule 9, 21, 25, 26, 27 and Schedule 11, 28, 29, 31, 35A, 36, 41(1)(b), 43, 51, 76A and 79 of the above Order, as applied to Hong Kong.

12. Exercising the powers of an authorised person under Articles 20 and Part C of Schedule 9, 27, and Schedule 11, 56, 80 and 81 of the above Order.

Last Updated on 2 December 1998