Cathay Pacific has confirmed that a loss of
separation incident occurred at around 13:13 on 18 September 2011
between a Cathay Pacific Airways’ flight CX841 from New York and a
Dragonair flight KA433 from Kaoshiung, both arriving in Hong Kong.
A Cathay Pacific spokesman said there was no risk of collision for
the aircraft involved.
Due to the adverse weather
conditions in the surrounding areas of Hong Kong that afternoon,
the Air Traffic Control (ATC) of Hong Kong International Airport
advised flights approaching Hong Kong to expect extensive
delays. Air traffic was directed to hold 40 nautical miles
southwest of HKIA, and was restricted to narrow tracks to avoid
bad weather when descending from the holding area to land in HKIA.
The CX841 and KA433 aircraft were at the same altitude
southwest of HKIA when a loss of separation resulted. Cathay says
of the two aircraft properly responded to their respective Traffic
Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) warnings and advisories, with
KA433 climbing and the CX841 descending immediately to resolve the
conflict and maintain appropriate separation.
departed from New York at 10:07 local time on 17 September landed
at HKIA without incident at HKIA at 13:45 without delay. There
were 18 crew and 299 passengers on board of the Boeing 777-300ER
KA433 which departed from Kaoshiung at 11:22
local time on 18 September also landed at HKIA without incident at
13:59. There were 12 crew and 284 passengers on the Airbus A330
“There was no
risk of collision and at no time was the safety of the flights
compromised. At the closest, they were one nautical mile (2,000
meters) apart when abeam from each other with increasing vertical
separation. Both aircraft’s TCAS equipment generated appropriate
alerts and the pilots took immediate action to maintain adequate
separation. All Cathay Pacific and Dragonair pilots are trained to
use TCAS as part of their initial and on-going training,” said a Cathay Pacific spokesman.
“All Cathay Pacific and Dragonair aircraft are equipped with a
TCAS that identifies a three-dimensional airspace around the
aircraft based on the closure rate of other similarly-equipped
traffic and, if the defined vertical and horizontal parameters are
satisfied by the evolving potential conflict, TCAS generates a
visual and aural alert.”
The incident has been reported to
the Civil Aviation Department.
The adverse weather
conditions in the afternoon of 18 September also led to eight
other Cathay Pacific flights having to divert to Taipei, Kaoshiung,
Macau and Guangzhou respectively with arrival at HKIA delayed by
approximately two to three hours. In addition, two freighter
services and a passenger flight from London CX256 also made a fuel
emergency request for priority landing while at requested holding
position. One freighter diverted to Macau, while the other two
flights landed in HKIA. All landed without incident with
sufficient spare fuel ranging from 30-50 minutes of flight.
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