Airport security was not breached and the whole episode was a matter of “lost baggage”.
With those findings, the Airport Authority closed its investigation into a March 28 incident that embroiled Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and his family and led to accusations he abused his power.
The results were announced Monday, more than two weeks after reports said Leung intervened when his younger daughter, Chung-yan, left a carry-on bag in the passenger check-in area of Hong Kong airport.
Cathay Pacific staff brought the bag to Chung-yan who was already in a restricted area waiting to board a flight to San Francisco.
In its final report to the government, the authority said no aviation security requirements or safety regulations were compromised, according to the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
Both airline staff and the luggage in question had passed the required security screening, it said.
The authority said appropriate handling of lost and found property is essential to customer service without compromising airport and aviation security.
It’s up to the airlines to decide whether they want to provide courtesy delivery of recovered property to their passengers in a restricted area, it said.
Provided airlines comply with screening requirements, they do not need approval from the Airport Authority or airport security to provide such service, the report said.
The authority said the whole incident was “nothing but one related to lost property” that Cathay staff agreed to help with as part of customer service.
The report suggests airline staff knew they were dealing with Leung’s daughter when they asked for assistance from Aviation Security Co. Ltd. (AVSECO) which provides security in Hong Kong airport.
It said Leung’s wife, Regina Tong, appeared upset because “she couldn’t understand why no one could help her deliver the bag to its owner”.
Tong had started to walk to the pre-immigration zone intending to bring the bag to the boarding gate herself but was stopped by AVSECO personnel, the report said.
Cathay Pacific ground crew used the staff channel to bring the luggage airside.
In a statement Monday, Leung reiterated that neither he nor his family exercised any privilege or breached airport security regulations during the incident.
Cathay Pacific said in a separate statement that its internal security guidelines comply with airport regulations and its staff are trained to provide the best customer service.
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