For information
on 18 December 1997

Provisional Legislative Council
Panel on Security

Meeting on 18 December 1997

Aviation Security and Emergency Response Management in the New Airport at Chek Lap Kok


This paper provides members with information on three major area of activities relating to the security operation of the new airport in Chek Lap Kok. These include:

  1. aviation security arrangements;

  2. emergency response management; and

  3. non-emergency ambulance service in the airport restricted area.

(A) Aviation Security

Statutory Background

2.With the enactment of the Aviation Security Ordinance and the issue of the Hong Kong Aviation Security Programme (HKASP) in 1996, a statutory framework was established to monitor aviation security in Hong Kong, especially in relation to the development of the new airport at Chek Lap Kok.

3.The HKASP provides guidelines and standards for protecting and safeguarding aircraft, passengers, crews and the general public against any acts of unlawful interference. Airport and airline operators, airport tenants and other operators whose activities may impinge on aviation security are responsible under the HKASP to develop measures that meet the requirements of the HKASP.

Aviation Security Regulation

4.A set of regulation will be made under the Aviation Security Ordinance and tabled in the Provisional Legislative Council in early January next year. The Regulation will establish a system for issuing permits for individuals and vehicles to enter a restricted area in the new airport. A number of offences will be established for acts which may impinge upon the integrity of the restricted area. The Regulation will be based largely on the Hong Kong Airport (Restricted Area) Regulation currently applied to the Kai Tak Airport.

Aviation Security Services in Chek Lap Kok

5.The Airport Authority has decided to deliver its obligations under the HKASP through a subsidiary company which will provide comprehensive aviation security services at the new airport. To maintain the integrity of the security control system at Chek Lap Kok, the subsidiary will also provide security services for airport tenants whose premises share an interface with the airport restricted areas. The Airport Authority has made an agreement with the Government on the secondment of senior law enforcement officers who have experience in airport security and management. Senior Government officials overseeing aviation security or civil aviation in Hong Kong would also act as the company directors to facilitate the effective provision of security services by the subsidiary in compliance with the requirements under the HKASP. There are also non-government directors appointed by the Airport Authority in its capacity as the parent company.

6.Recruitment of staff for the subsidiary started in mid-November and some 2,000 security personnel will be recruited for the wide range of security functions required at the new airport. The subsidiary is looking for suitable candidates in the security services industry, with priority given to the experienced security staff now working at the Kai Tak Airport. The recruitment programme is scheduled to complete by February 1998 when pre-employment training will start at the same time.

7.As mentioned in paragraph 5 above, senior officers will be seconded from the Government to the subsidiary. Among the officers to be seconded are a Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police and a Senior Principal Executive Officer. Both officers are experienced Directorate officers and they will fill the positions of General Manager and Deputy General Manager of the subsidiary respectively. A formal proposal will be submitted to the Establishment Sub-committee of the Finance Committee for the creation of two supernumerary posts for a period of three years, to facilitate the proposed secondment of these two officers.

(B) Emergency Response Management

8.To deal with emergency incidents at the new airport at Chek Lap Kok, all agencies involved are required to prepare their own contingency plans. A list of such plans are at Annex A. To ensure proper coordination amongst departments, these plans are discussed between departments. Both the Airport Authority and Security Bureau monitor the development of these plans. In case of a disastrous incident, emergency services and supporting organisations including Fire Services Department, Hong Kong Police Force, Civil Aviation Department, Airport Authority and Hospital Authority will activate the various contingency plans to cope with the incidents. Hospital Authority, together with Fire Services Department's ambulance crew, will actively participate in the provision of pre-hospital care and hospital services to victims. In the event of a major event which is of a considerable scale, Security Bureau will activate the Emergency Support Unit and the Emergency Monitoring and Support Centre, if necessary, to monitor the development of the incident and the progress of Government's respond actions to provide support as necessary.

9.Under Hospital Authority's Civil Disaster Contingency Plan, Accident & Emergency Departments in hospitals join together to form a network to provide mutual support to one another during civil disasters. In the event of major disasters involving large number of casualties, more than one hospital will be mobilised through the co-ordination of Hospital Authority Duty Officers, in consultation with Hospital Authority's Medical Control Officer (MCO) at disaster scene and the Fire Services Communication Centre.

10.In the event of a major incident, such as an air crash, 10 ambulances (some of them are equipped with paramedic support facilities) can be despatched immediately from Chek Lap Kok and Tung Chung areas. In addition, the Hospital Authority can arrange for a MCO and a Medical Team to be despatched to the scene. The MCO will remain at the scene to advise Fire Services and Police Officers on matters concerning casualties and to keep the Hospital Authority Duty Officers and concerned hospitals advised of the situation. The Medical Team will provide emergency treatment such as stabilising/holding/resuscitation services for trauma and non-trauma medical emergency cases, and on-site triage to the victims pending transfer to hospitals. Should the situation warrant, Hospital Authority will be able to mobilise additional Medical Teams to the incident site. Fire Services Department can also send a Mobile Casualty Treatment Centre (a specially designed ambulance with a minor operating theatre) to the scene for Hospital Authority's Medical Team and Fire Services Department's ambulance officers to carry out treatments if necessary. Auxiliary Medical Services may also be requested to assist the staff of medical and ambulances services at the scene.

11.The casualties will normally be transferred to hospitals in New Territories West by ambulances via the Lantau Link. Princess Margaret Hospital has been designated as the first hospital for receiving victims of disasters occurring at the new airport. Victims can also be sent to Yan Chai Hospital and Caritas Medical Centre, if the demand for emergency services exceed the capacity of a single receiving hospital. The travelling time of ambulances from the new airport to these hospitals is estimated to be within 30 minutes, which is comparable to other emergency trips. The 10 ambulances stationed in Chek Lap Kok and Tung Chung can be despatched to the site within 10 minutes.

12.Depending on the scale and nature of the disasters, the Fire Services Communication Centre can deploy different modes of transport other than ambulances to assist in the transfer of victims to hospitals and the Hospital Authority Duty Officer will mobilise different hospitals to match the transport modes in the rescue operation. The transport modes include :-

  1. Air Transport

    For critical and life-threatening cases, victims would be sent by Government Flying Service's helicopters to hospitals' nearby helipads. In some cases, additional trips to hospital by ambulances are required. Hospitals involved include United Christian Hospital, Prince of Wales Hospital, Tuen Mun Hospital and Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital.

  2. Sea Transport

    For less serious cases, victims can be sent from the new airport to Tuen Mun Public Pier by Fire Services Department's command boats (each of which has a capacity of about 300 persons), speed boats, fire boats, Police launches and Marine launches. They can then be transferred to Tuen Mun Hospital by ambulances.

  3. Rail Transport

    Other than ambulances, victims of less serious cases can be sent by the New Airport Railway to the Kowloon Station and be redirected to Kwong Wah Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulances.

13.Department conducts emergency response exercises from time to time to test the reliability of their response mechanism and to improve their effectiveness in coping with major disasters. Two major exercises are planned before the opening of the new airport. A table-top exercise will be conducted in January to test effectiveness of the communication system and a real life emergency response exercise will be conducted in March 1998 to test coordination between participating parties.

(C) Non-emergency Ambulance Service

14.Planned arrangements for non-emergency ambulance service for passengers using the new airport Chek Lap Kok are as follows :-

  1. For in-bound passengers seeking admission into a hospital in Hong Kong and who are not suitable for travel by other means of transport than ambulance, Fire Services Department will provide ambulance service to them even if their condition is not serious and thus regarded as a non-emergency case.

  2. For out-bound passengers, the Hospital Authority and the Auxiliary Medical Service will provide non-emergency ambulance service for those passengers with a disability departing from Hospital Authority hospitals/institutions, and Department of Health clinics, Social Welfare Department institutions and private hospitals respectively.

  3. The conveyance of stretcher/wheelchair bounded transit passengers who are required to be transferred from one aircraft to another is the responsibility of the respective airline operators. The Airport Authority will examine with its contractors operating in the apron area the most suitable arrangements on the provision of such a service.

15.Where necessary, the airline operators will make special arrangements for non-emergency ambulances to convey stretcher bounded passengers to the apron for direct boarding onto the departing flights. The Airport Authority will facilitate such arrangements by providing appropriate escort service to the ambulances for entry into the Restricted Area.

Security Bureau
December 1997

Annex A

Types of Emergency Plans for Aircraft Incident

Name of Emergency Plans
Security Bureau -Security Bureau Circular for " Contingency Plan for Dealing withAn Aircraft Crash in Hong Kong "

-Security Bureau Circular for " Contingency Plan for the Salvage ofCrashed Aircraft "

Airport Authority Emergency Procedures Manual (EPM)
Volume I - Aircraft Accident
Volume II - Aviation Security
Volume III - Other Incidents

Fire Services Department Departmental Emergency Plans forFire Fighting, Rescue and Casualties Handling

Hong Kong Police Force Operation Order for Aircraft CrashIncident at CLK New Airport

Hospital Authority Departmental Contingency Plan forDisasters (Including Aircraft Crash Incident at CLK New Airport)

Department of Health Departmental Standing Instructions for Civil Disasters

Civil Aviation Department Emergency File for Air Traffic Management Division

Auxiliary Medical Service Departmental Operation Order