on 12 February 1998
ITEM FOR ESTABLISHMENT SUBCOMMITTEE OF
HEAD 168 - HONG KONG OBSERVATORY
Subhead 001 Salaries
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the retention of the following supernumerary post in the Hong Kong Observatory for a period of one year with effect from 1 April 1998 -
1 Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Observatory
(D2) ($110,000 - $116,800)
We need to retain the supernumerary post of Assistant Director (AD) of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), which is due to lapse on 31 March 1998.
2. The Director of the HKO (the Director) proposes to retain the supernumerary AD post for another year from 1 April 1998 to 31 March 1999 to ensure the smooth operation of meteorological facilities and provision of efficient services for the new Hong Kong International Airport and to continue with the smooth planning and installation of meteorological systems for the second runway.
3. The new Hong Kong International Airport is scheduled for opening on 6 July 1998 and the second runway will be commissioned by the end of 1998. We have to put in substantial directorate effort to ensure smooth transfer of meteorological services at the operational level from Kai Tak to the new airport. Moreover, as the new airport and the second runway will require the support of additional and more sophisticated meteorological systems, we have to ensure smooth planning, integration and operation of these systems.
4. Most of the meteorological systems at the new airport are new to the operators and are closely integrated with each other and with other systems of the Civil Aviation Department and the Airport Authority (AA). Trial runs of these systems are underway to ensure that they are ready for operation before the new airport opens. The Director envisages that the smooth functioning of the meteorological systems in the initial year of their operation will be particularly important as unforeseen interface or technical problems with the new equipment are likely to arise. He needs the continued service of an AD to iron out, at a strategic level, all operational problems. This requires the officer to have full knowledge and a good understanding of complex technical issues, aviation safety and customer requirements, and the impact of meteorological systems on other service providers at the airport. He also has to work on solutions involving changes in complex hardware, software and procedures. In addition, the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar and the Operational Windshear Warning System are site-specific systems requiring longer term evaluation and tuning in the Chek Lap Kok environment to meet the demand of air traffic control personnel and pilots. The attention of a directorate officer is essential to ensure that the systems are managed and operated well, that users receive first-rate service and that any problems with the meteorological systems are solved with minimal impact on other airport services.
5. In addition, the HKO is putting in place additional meteorological facilities for the second runway of the new airport and a Backup Air Traffic Control Complex. These facilities will be commissioned in phases between late 1998 and early 2000. Although we have provided, on a supernumerary basis, of 28 professional and technical staff for setting up these facilities we need input at the directorate level in the following areas of work -
- at the policy level, co-ordination with the AA, and bureaux and departments concerned on the timely provision of meteorological facilities and services; and
- at the operational level, management of professional and consultancy work required.
6. The work described above becomes even more complicated having regard to the increasing number of international airports around the Zhu Jiang estuary and the need for co-ordination of aviation meteorological services provided at these airports. Liaison with the relevant meteorological offices and the meteorological division of the Civil Aviation Administration of China is increasing and this requires input at directorate level.
7. Having regard to the level of responsibility, the scope and complexity of the tasks to be handled, the management skills required as well as the considerable workload involved, we propose to retain the supernumerary AD post in HKO for another year up to 31 March 1999.
8.The organisation chart of the HKO and the job description of the supernumerary AD post are at Enclosures 1 and 2 respectively.
9. The additional notional annual salary cost at mid-point of the proposal is $1,360,800. The full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and staff on-costs, is $2,357,532. We have included sufficient provision in the 1998-99 draft Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal.
10. We will recover the cost of the proposal, including the staff on-cost, from the AA in accordance with the agreed arrangementsmeteorological services at the new airport.
11. We obtained approval in 1992 to create a supernumerary AD post in the then Royal Observatory to formulate policies and strategies regarding aviation meteorological services and to oversee the development of meteorological facilities and services for the new airport. The post was extendedFinance Committee approved the retention of the post on two occasions in 1994 and 1996 to meet operational requirements, the last time up to 31 March 1998.
12. The AD is responsible for the operation of the Airport Meteorological Office at the new airport with the support of 58 professional and technical staff and a range of specialized meteorological equipment at a cost of some $380 million, including a Terminal Doppler Weather Radar, an Operational Windshear Warning System, an Aviation Meteorological Data Processing System, an Aerodrome Meteorological Observing System and various data processing and telecommunications equipment. In June 1996, the Finance Committee of the then Legislative Council approved funding of some $43 million for additional meteorological facilities for the second runway and the Backup Air Traffic Control Complex scheduled for commissioning in the end of 1998.
CIVIL SERVICE BUREAU COMMENTS
13. Civil Service Bureau agrees that further retention of a supernumerary post of Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Observatory for one year is appropriate having regard to the job nature and level of responsibility required.
ADVICE OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON DIRECTORATE SALARIES AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
14. As we propose to retain the AD post on a supernumerary basis, we will report the retention of it, if approved, to the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service in accordance with the agreed procedure.
Economic Services Bureau
Enclosure 2 to EC(97-98)73
Rank: Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Observatory
Responsible to : Director of the Hong Kong Observatory
- Overall control and management of the Aviation Meteorological Services Branch.
- To formulate policies in the operation, maintenance and development of meteorological facilities and services for the new Hong Kong International Airport.
- To co-ordinate Hong Kong Observatory programmes for Chek Lap Kok with those of the Airport Authority and other government departments.
- To co-ordinate with Civil Aviation Administration of China and other authorities in the Mainland to set policies on interaction with International Civil Aviation Organisation and overseas aviation meteorological authorities, and to liaise with counterparts.
- To oversee meteorological services delivered to Civil Aviation Department and the aviation community at the new Hong Kong International Airport, and to liaise with counterparts.
- To keep abreast of latest developments in aeronautical meteorology and implement the standards and recommendations of World Meteorological Organisation and International Civil Aviation Organisation.
- Strategic planning and integration of technical programmes for the implementation of meteorological facilities of second runway and Backup Air Traffic Control Complex, and continued improvement of meteorological systems at the new airport.
- To oversee the implementation of meteorological facilities of the second runway and Backup Air Traffic Control Complex.
- To steer consultants and suppliers engaged in the Hong Kong Observatory programmes for Chek Lap Kok.