The plan to appoint slot coordination at Hong Kong International Airport to the Civil Aviation Department clashes with IATA's Worldwide Schedules Guidelines.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has expressed concern over Hong Kong's intention to transfer the responsibility for slot coordination at Hong Kong International Airport to the Civil Aviation Department (CAD).
"Slot coordinators appointed by the regulatory authority should be independent and not linked or related to any interested party. This is to ensure the neutral, transparent and non-discriminatory allocation of airport slots. The CAD, which represents the interests of the government, clearly does not meet this criterion," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's Director General and CEO, in a letter to Eva Cheng, Hong Kong's Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works.
The requirement for an independent slot coordinator is one of the underlying principles of the IATA Worldwide Schedules Guidelines (WSG). The WSG is recognised by governments worldwide. The European Union, for example, uses the WSG as a key component in the EU's Slot Regulation. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has also endorsed the need for slot coordinators to be independent.
"The current Hong Kong coordinator has done an excellent job. Their neutrality in performing the coordinator's role has never been questioned. IATA and its member airlines oppose the need for any local organisational changes in the airport coordination services for Hong Kong," said Bisignani.
"Hong Kong's plans to transfer this responsibility to the CAD disregards globally recognised best practices. It also violates the principle of consultation with all interested parties prior to the appointment of the slot coordinator," said Bisignani. "Hong Kong should abandon this ill-conceived effort."