The Hong Kong Sevens is a major rugby tournament, and one which hasn’t taken place for three years. So this one is probably going to be quite popular.
Here are seven things for you to know about if you’re planning on heading to Hong Kong during this event.
1. Tournament Info
The tournament takes place November 4-6.
You can find all the info on it here, but from a flying perspective the main thing to know is that teams from 16 countries will be taking part and that means a lot of extra BizAv airplanes heading to Hong Kong around these dates.
2. Hong Kong Covid Info
Hong Kong have been one of the stricter (and slower) countries in terms of easing up on Covid entry stuff, but at the start of October 2022 they made it a lot easier for crew and passengers to head in.
The main thing was the dropping of mandatory hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated crew.
Essentially, crew can choose between entering without isolating if they take multiple PCR & RAT tests during their stay in Hong Kong, or not entering under closed loop arrangements to self-isolate at the Airport Hotel (Skycity Marriott Hotel) until their next departure.
They also have to complete their online health declaration and get a QR code before they board the flight into Hong Hong. You can find that here.
We received a report from someone who operated there recently, and they said they were not able to test on arrival as crew, but were offered the option to declare themselves a passenger and pay for a $2000HK test in the terminal. Otherwise, they were not allowed out.
3. Permits and Slots.
You need to talk to HKCAD to get prior clearance if you’re a private, non-revenue flight. They take about 3 days so hurry up if you haven’t already sorted this.
We actually wrote a whole load on the process here, but in general they need what you’d expect them to need:
- What you are flying
- Where it is registered
- Who the operator is
- Which ground handling agent you are using
- Dates and times
- Insurance stuff
- Proof you meet all their AIP specifications.
Slots are mandatory as well. Thankfully the airport operates 24/7 but they do have restrictions between 10pm and 7am local so don’t assume you can avoid the crowds by heading in in the middle of the night.
There is a whole load of info in here which the Airport and Authority posted about slots in 2021. The main bits are probably this:
- Generally you need 14 days to set up a new account and get slots booked (or your handling agent can do this for you through their account)
- It isn’t just the runway slot you need. You need a parking ‘slot’ and ground handling arranged
- The online slot system is here
- Talk to the folk at Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre – email@example.com – for help with your slots.
Parking at Hong Kong isn’t too big an issue because its a big airport. Here is an unhelpful picture out of their AIP:
If you do find you can’t get a space there though, then there are some alternate options which you could use to swing by Hong Kong from:
- VMMC/Macau Right next door, 11,024’/3360m runway, smaller and more limited parking options though
- RCTP/Taipei A little bit further away, a 12,467’/3800m and a 12,008’/3660m runway, and a big airport with a load of parking
- VVNB/Hanoi About the same distance as Taiwan, a 10,499’/3200m and a 12,467’/3800m runway to pick from and plenty of parking.
What we don’t recommend is China Mainland because…
5. China Mainland stuff
They get a bit funny about it. Not half as funny a they do with Taiwan-China Mainland operations, but it can still be a real hassle with visas for your crew and maintenance for your aircraft, and all that.
And a little thing called Covid which will probably still have you in boiler suits, escorted to and from locked hotel rooms.
6. Operational Stuff at Hong Kong
Here is the online AIS which is a good spot to start if you’ve not been to Hong Kong before.
It is a well managed airport, but there are a few things to know about.
- They just got a new runway Well, earlier in 2022, but they did and you might not have used it yet so here is a post about it.
- Issues with the ILS An ongoing thing which has earned its own special AIC. It basically says watch out for false capture because terrain means it doesn’t totally conform to standard ICAO ILS specs
- Terrain is annoying there It gets in the way of things like the go-around and one engine out stuff. You might want to check the gradients because they are quite high
- You need ADS-B or you’ll be stuck down at rubbish levels
If you’re an Opsgroup member, then give VHHH a search on Airport Spy because there are a lot of reviews, documents and other useful things there on Hong Kong, including an Airport Lowdown.
7. What else…
I said 7 because of the Rugby Sevens thing, but I can’t think of another one.
Oh, ok, weather – ’tis the season of typhoons so keep a look out for them. This is a good page to do it on.
Don’t just worry about the weather at Hong Kong, check it for your alternates as well because the whole region can get some pretty nasty weather when these storms start brewing.
More on the topic:
- More: Hong Kong: New Runway Opening
- More: Hong Kong: King of the Airports
- More: Hong Kong revised entry rules for flight crew
- More: Hong Kong Airport relaxes slot rules
- More: Extra overnight slots for Hong Kong extended until 2019
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