The popular Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) slot program, which aims to provide general aviation with an equitable allocation of available slots, has been extended to March 31, 2020.

The Hong Kong Airport Authority announced the extension at the recent Asian Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (ABACE2019) in Shanghai, China. The Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA) and NBAA lobbied to secure the extension to the trial program.

“AsBAA is very pleased to see the slot trial program extended to March 31, 2020,” said Sarah Kalmeta, director of international business – south APAC at Universal Weather & Aviation, Inc., and member of AsBAA’s Board of Governors. “Ultimately, we’d like to see this become a permanent program and continue to evolve to meet the needs of general and business aviation in Hong Kong.”

Slots are required for all arrivals and departures at HKG. Prior to the trial program, scheduled commercial operators received priority for slots and general aircraft operators were left to compete for any remaining slots.

Through the trial program, general aviation operations have nine dedicated night slots available, with an additional six slots available during reduced nighttime hours. Last summer, additional slots were added to the reduced nighttime hours, with six slots currently available for general aviation operations between 1600-2059 UTC. These six slots are available to all aircraft types, including those not currently exempted from the Noise Quota Count Pilot Scheme, through the “Ask Us” function. The nine slots dedicated to general aviation, available during the full night period of 1400-2259 UTC, is for those types listed as “exempt.” The additional nighttime slots were the direct result of lobbying by AsBAA and local industry partners.

“Hong Kong remains a critical business hub for the region and global businesses and increased general aviation access to the airport means improved investment and job opportunities for the region. We’re very pleased with the extension of the current program,” said Doug Carr, NBAA’s vice president of regulatory and international affairs. “AsBAA and NBAA will continue to advocate for a permanent slot allocation to business aviation.”

Carr also encouraged operators to become familiar with the slot reservation and cancellation processes, as responsible use of slots by business aviation will demonstrate the industry’s commitment to compliance. Penalties are assessed to tail numbers of operators that do not use reserved slots without cancelling in advance or that are substantially late for the reserved slot time.