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Xia Baolong begins HK visit

CPC Central Committee Hong Kong & Macao Work Office Director and State Council Hong Kong & Macao Affairs Office Director Xia Baolong today arrived in Hong Kong for a seven-day inspection visit.   Upon his arrival at Hong Kong International Airport this morning, Mr Xia toured the Integrated Airport Centre in the company of Chief Executive John Lee, Chief Secretary Chan Kwok-ki and Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) Chairman Jack So.   Mr Xia was updated by Secretary for Transport & Logistics Lam Sai-hung and AAHK Chief Executive Officer Fred Lam, on the developments of the aviation industry and the latest situation of Hong Kong's development as an international aviation and cargo hub. Mr Xia also inspected the operation of autonomous vehicles at the airport.   In the afternoon, he had an engagement session with Principal Officials and Permanent Secretaries of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government led by Mr Lee.   At another engagement ses

Ballot system for vacant test slots set

The Transport Department today said a computer ballot will be introduced starting March 28 to replace the current first come, first served arrangement for allocation of the vacant test slots in the Repeater Early Test Appointment Booking Services (RETAS).   The aim of the new arrangement is to combat profiteering activities by intermediaries or agents making use of the repeater early test slots.   Currently, a repeater may consider applying for an end-of-list driving test appointment, or a repeater early test appointment for the failed parts.   The availability of repeater early test appointments is subject to the vacant test slots released by candidates subsequent to their application of test postponement or temporary cancellation, which is very limited in number.   Given the limited supply, candidates should consider applying for an end-of-list appointment or a repeater early test appointment in accordance with their individual need.   Under the new balloting mechanism, eligible repeaters applying for an early test appointment must register via the online booking system for RETAS or the Interactive Voice Response System Telephone Hotline 2866 8148 for participating in the balloting.   Repeaters can opt for a single balloting or continuous balloting in two consecutive weeks. For continuous balloting, repeaters will be included in the ballot pool for each balloting for two weeks counting from the next working day after the registration date.   Repeaters who have won a ballot will receive a notification by SMS or email, and they are required to complete the selection of a test slot and settle the payment of the test form fee by a specified deadline to confirm the test slot.   Repeaters who are not successful in any balloting within the balloting period may register again as necessary.   Detailed application guidelines will be available on the department's website to tie in with the launching of the new balloting system on March 28.   Given that there may be a large number of repeaters making registration arrangements when the new balloting mechanism is launched, the first round of the registration period of balloting will be from March 28 to 30 and the first balloting will be held on March 31.   As eligible repeaters will have sufficient time to register for the balloting, the department is making it clear to candidates that there is no need to rush to register on the first day of the registration period.   Moreover, to cater for the significant demand for road tests, the department will arrange additional test slots for repeaters on Saturdays. Such an arrangement will last for about six months.
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