Hong Kong Law & Crime Travel & Transport

Court to hear legal challenge to Airport Authority report on ‘bag-gate’ debacle

The High Court agreed on Friday to hear a judicial review application over a report by the Airport Authority that no aviation security standards were violated in a controversial incident involving Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying.

Hong Kong Cabin Crew Federation representative Carol Ng said outside the court that the purpose of the judicial review was to clarify confusion surrounding the controversy, so that security loopholes could be fixed to ensure public safety.

hong kong international airport

Hong Kong International Airport. File photo: Wikicommons.

Ng added that the union had made multiple attempts to meet with the head of the Civil Aviation Department, but received no response.

The judicial review application was officially filed by a union member and flight attendant Law Mei-mei of Dragon Airlines, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific. The hearing will take place at a later date.

‘Aviation standards violated’

Last March, Leung allegedly used his position as chief executive to help his daughter bypass security procedures to retrieve forgotten hand baggage, though he denied any wrongdoing. Cathay Pacific staff members took the baggage into the restricted area for Ms Leung, prompting protests over security.

The Airport Authority said in a report a month later that the incident did not violate any airport or international aviation security standards.

The report said the baggage passed explosive trace detection, its ownership was verified and it underwent security screenings as per airport and International Civil Aviation Organisation requirements.

aahk report

AAHK report.

But Law asked the court to overturn the report. She argued that airport rules may have been violated as the baggage was brought into the restricted area by airline staff members, rather than Ms Leung herself.

‘Special treatment’

They also said there were contradictions in the report. For example, the report showed Cathay Pacific staff members who handled the incident knew of Ms Leung’s identity as the chief executive’s daughter, and that her mother attempted to take the bag through security checkpoints herself. In an earlier statement, both denied disclosing their identities.

Leung Chung-yan

Leung Chung-yan. File Photo: Apple Daily/Stand News.

Critics alleged that Leung’s family pressured airport staff with their status and received special treatment.

Leung denied that he and his family sought to exercise any privilege. He stressed that no airport security requirements were breached during the incident.

More than 1,000 people protested last April at the airport over the controversy.

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Court to hear legal challenge to Airport Authority report on 'bag-gate' debacle