Published on : Thursday, August 24, 2017
The implementation of flight rescheduling and overnight operation of both runways at the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) have helped to clear the backlog of passengers affected by Typhoon Hato, gradually returning the airport to normal operations today.
HKIA handled approximately 600 flights between 1700hrs yesterday and 0600hrs this morning. Overnight, HKIA handled nearly double number of flight movements compared with normal days.
The operation of HKIA is back to normal today, and is expected to handle more than 1,200 flights to and from Hong Kong today. The airport is continuing flight rescheduling today till midnight, and by then all remaining passengers affected by the typhoon are expected to have been handled.
Fred Lam, Chief Executive Officer of Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA), said, “I’m grateful that, with the collaborative efforts of the airport community, we have managed to handle flights affected by the typhoon efficiently and resume normal operations within a short period of time. Airport staff performed their duties under very challenging conditions during the typhoon. The AA maintained effective communications with our business partners, who strengthened their manpower and services and worked with us to deal with the affected flights and assist passengers. This demonstrates the efficiency and team spirit of the entire airport community.”
Preparation started well in advance on Tuesday, 22 August, when Typhoon Hato was approaching Hong Kong. The AA coordinated closely with its business partners, including the Hong Kong Observatory, Civil Aviation Department, Immigration Department, Customs and Excise Department, airlines, ground service handlers, airport catering outlets and public transportation operators, among others, to begin planning and preparation for handling potential disruptions. Airlines issued early notifications to their passengers about flight arrangements, while the AA continuously provided updated information about airport operation through the HKIA website, “HKG My Flight” mobile app and the news media, reminding passengers to check the latest flight information before heading to the airport.
Business partners also deployed manpower and resources in light of the circumstances during and after the typhoon period, and extended their service hours when needed. On public transportations, operators beefed up their services to cater for passengers arriving late at night. Some airport facilities were damaged in the typhoon, and maintenance staff conducted repairs immediately once conditions were safe.