PLC Paper No. CB(1) 687
Paper for the House Committee meeting on 19 December 1997
Report of the Subcommittee on Resolution under section 35(11) of the Airport Authority Ordinance (Cap. 483)
This paper reports on the deliberations of the Subcommittee on Resolution under section 35(11) of the Airport Authority Ordinance (Cap. 483) (the Subcommittee).
2. The Administration gave notice to move a resolution under section 35(11) of the Airport Authority Ordinance (the Resolution) at the Council meeting on 17 December 1997, to seek the Council's approval of the Airport Authority Bylaw (the Bylaw) made by the Airport Authority (AA). The Bylaw seeks to facilitate AA in managing the airport at Chek Lap Kok (the Airport) effectively and in ensuring the safety and efficiency in airport operations. According to the Administration, the Bylaw must be in place before the opening of the Airport and it is also needed for the safe and orderly conduct of airport trials scheduled to start in January 1998. The Bylaw mainly provides for the regulation of the use and operation of the Airport, the conduct of persons while within different parts of it, and the regulation of vehicles, their use and vehicular traffic in specified parts of the Airport.
3. Upon request of the House Committee, the Administration agreed to defer moving the Resolution to a later Council meeting.
4. The Subcommittee comprises 8 members, with Hon James TIEN Pei-chun elected as Chairman. The membership list of the Subcommittee is at Appendix I. The Subcommittee met on 13 December 1997 and invited the Administration to explain the major differences between the Bylaw and the corresponding existing legislation which applies to the Kai Tak Airport. The Subcommittee completed its deliberations in one meeting.
Deliberations of the Subcommittee
5. According to the Administration, most of the provisions of the Bylaw are modelled on the existing Hong Kong Airport (Regulations) Ordinance (Cap. 292) and its subsidiary legislation which apply to the Kai Tak Airport, the Mass Transit Railway By-laws (Cap. 270 sub. leg.) and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation By-laws (Cap. 372 sub. leg.). Having noted that the Administration had briefed members of the Provisional Legislative Council Panel on Economic Services on the Bylaw at its meeting on 1 December 1997, in which the Administration was requested to prepare a table summarizing the differences between the Bylaw and the above existing legislation, members of the Subcommittee decided to examine the table of comparison provided by the Administration and the Bylaw itself. The main concerns raised by members in the process of deliberation are summarized below.
Section 9 - Admission, etc.
6. Members notice that while the authority had absolute discretion to deny access in Kai Tak Airport, AA's power to control admission of any parties into different areas of the Airport is restricted. In view of the much more extensive area of the new Airport than Kai Tak Airport, members consider that the AA should be given sufficient power to cope with any unexpected situation in order to ensure the safety and security of airport operations instead of having to rely on provisions of other legislation when special circumstances arise. The Administration explains that the restriction on AA's power in this respect does not apply to the restricted areas in the Airport, such as the restricted areas in the passenger terminal building, the control tower and the runway, and areas yet to be developed on the airport island. The AA still has absolute discretion over the access to the basic operation areas and can exercise the power in other areas of the Airport as long as it is reasonably considered necessary in the interest of the safe, secure and efficent operation of the Airport or the person being denied access is reasonably believed or suspected to have contravened, or attempted to contravene, the relevant legislation. As the corresponding legislation for Kai Tak Airport was drafted over twenty years ago, the Administration considers that a more balanced approach of the Bylaw in this respect should be adopted to suit the needs of modern time. With the assurance by the Administration that the basic objective of effective management of the airport would be maintained and having noted that some other major international airports also adopt a similar approach, members find the provision acceptable.
Section 17 - Nuisance and annoyance
7. In considering the provision under this section, members are concerned that as protests and demonstrations require the approval of the Police under the Public Order Ordinance (Cap. 245), AA might not be in full control of the situation. Furthermore, a meeting or assembly held with the permission of AA might also turn into a rowdy protest or demonstration, causing obstruction to passages and inconvenience to other users of the Airport. The Administration assures members that the Police would liaise closely with AA in considering applications to hold protests or demonstrations. Furthermore, the police contingent at the Airport would be available to maintain law and order should the need arise. With the confirmation that similar provisions in Hong Kong Airport (Regulations) Ordinance (Cap. 292) had worked well for Kai Tak Airport, members consider the provision acceptable.
Section 22 - Use of Vehicles, Skateboards, etc.
8. As to the provision that prohibits the use of vehicles in certain parts of the Airport without the prior permission of AA, members consider that the term " any vehicle " should replace " an electrical vehicle " in section 22(a) as the use of any vehicle, not only an electrical vehicle, in the specified areas would need to be approved by the AA anyway. This will improve the drafting and obviate the need to change the Bylaw should other types of vehicles come into use as a result of technology change. The Administration agrees to incorporate the suggestion in the Bylaw accordingly.
9. The Subcommittee supports the Resolution with the incorporation in the Bylaw the comments made by the Legal Service Division and members' suggestion at paragraph 8 above. Members also agree that the Administration move the Resolution at the Council meeting on 7 January 1998.
10. Members are invited to note the deliberations of the Subcommittee and support the recommendation at paragraph 9 above.
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
19 December 1997
Provisional Legislative Council
Subcommittee on Resolution under section 35(11) of the Airport Authority Ordinance (Cap. 483)
|Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP (Chairman)
|Hon CHAN Kam-lam.
|Hon CHENG Ming-fun, Paul, JP.
|Hon HO Sai-chu, JP
|Hon Howard YOUNG, JP.
|Hon Mrs LAM, Peggy, JP
|Hon LEE Kai-ming
|Hon YUEN Mo|
|Date: 13 December 1997