For discussion FCR(96-97)113
on 28 February 1997


Subhead 603 Plant, vehicles and equipment

Members are invited to approve a commitment of $13.5 million for the Director of Marine to procure two patrol launches for the management and control of the specified water areas around the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.


Director of Marine (D of M) requires two patrol launches to manage and control access to the specified water areas to be set up around the new airport, namely the Marine Exclusion Zones (MEZs), the Height Restricted Areas (HRAs) and the Prohibited Anchorage (PA).


2. D of M proposes to procure two patrol launches for the management and control of the above specified water areas around the new airport.


3. To safeguard flight safety at the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, it is necessary to control the movement of vessels in the specified water areas which extend from the Brothers Islands to Lung Kwu Chau and cover also waters around the new airport platform. This is to ensure that -

(a) vessels do not enter the MEZs around the airport platform and the island of Siu Mo To where air navigation signal transmission equipment will be installed;

(b) over-height vessels do not enter the HRAs; and

(c) vessels do not anchor in the PA adjacent to the airport platform.

A plan showing the proposed boundary of these specified water areas is at the Enclosure .

4. We have to set up the specified water areas before the new airport opens in April 1998 so that flight paths are clear of obstacles and radio signals are free from interference. To control access to these areas, D of M will have to provide 24-hour sea patrol service. At present, the waters around Kai Tak Airport is patrolled by launches responsible for the typhoon shelters and anchorages in the adjacent areas. There are no dedicated patrol launches serving the Kai Tak Airport which D of M can redeploy to the new airport at Chek Lap Kok. For flight safety reasons, it is necessary for the patrol launches to respond swiftly and to arrive on the scene in the shortest possible time when there are problems. D of M estimates that he will require two new launches to patrol the specified water areas which amount to 86 square kilometres.

Requirements for Legislative Amendments

5. The setting up of the specified water areas in Chek Lap Kok will require amendment to the Shipping and Port Control Regulations (Chapter 313 subsidiary legislation). D of M has already started work on the legislative amendments. We plan to table the regulations before the Legislative Council in April 1997.

6. The new airport at Chek Lap Kok is scheduled to commence operation in April 1998. D of M estimates that the construction of the two patrol launches will take about 12 months. That means he has to award the tender for the construction work by April 1997 at the latest. As the need for the patrol launches will prevail regardless of the definition and the exact location of the specified water areas, we consider it necessary to seek funding approval of the launches from Members prior to the introduction of legislative amendments. Approval of this proposal now will not pre-empt subsequent vetting of the amendment Regulations by the Legislative Council.

7. To ensure timely delivery of the launches, D of M will adhere to the following procurement schedule -

Award of tender April 1997
Delivery of launches March 1998
Launches in operation Mid March 1998


8. D of M estimates that the two launches will cost $13.5 million, broken down as follows -


$ million





Typhoon mooring buoys



Contingencies (10%)



Total 13.5
9. D of M estimates that the proposal will require an additional recurrent expenditure of $14 million per annum. This includes an annual staff cost of $12.1 million for 35 officers (one Marine Officer, ten Marine Inspectors I, eight Senior Launch Masters and 16 Launch Assistants) to operate the two launches in three shifts on a 24-hour basis, and $1.9 million to meet operation and maintenance costs.

10. D of M provides free patrol services for the management and control of the specified water areas. The proposal will have no implications on fees and charges for services provided by the Department.

11. The estimated cashflow is as follows -

$ million





Total 13.5


If Members approve the proposal, we shall provide supplementary provision in the normal way.

Economic Services Branch
February 1997

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