HONG KONG, March 13 (Xinhua) -- The Civil Aviation Department (CAD) of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government announced that the operation of all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into, out of and over Hong Kong will be temporarily prohibited from 6:00 p.m. local time Wednesday.
"The CAD has been closely monitoring the developments, the investigation progress and the information from relevant aviation authorities. Having regard to the latest situation, the CAD has decided to temporarily prohibit operation of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into, out of and over Hong Kong," a spokesman for the CAD said.
He added that the temporary prohibition will take effect at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday and continue until further notice.
The spokesman pointed out that there were two serious accidents involving Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in less than five months.
"The temporary prohibition is solely a precautionary measure to ensure aviation safety and protect the public," he emphasized.
The CAD has noted that the U.S. Federation Aviation Administration (FAA), the type-certification authority of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, has affirmed the airworthiness of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and the investigation into the accidents is ongoing, he said.
The spokesman added that over the past few days the CAD has been in close contact with the FAA and the relevant organizations, including the two airline companies which use Boeing 737 MAX aircraft to operate flights into and out of Hong Kong International Airport.
The two airliner companies, SpiceJet of India and Globus Airlines of Russia, have been notified by the CAD of the temporary prohibition and said they would fully cooperate and maintain their services with other aircraft types so as to reduce impacts on passengers.
During the temporary prohibition, the CAD will continue to closely monitor the developments and the information of relevant aviation authorities, and will review the arrangement of the temporary prohibition in due course, the spokesman said.