Airport Authority Welcomes Government's Approval of
Three-runway Option as Basis for Development Planning
(HONG KONG, 20 March 2012) – Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) today said it welcomes the Government's approval in principle to adopt, for planning purposes, the three-runway option as the future development direction for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA).
The Government has also approved AAHK's recommendation to proceed with the statutory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process and the preparation of the associated design details of the facilities under a three-runway system.
The findings of a three-month public consultation on HKIA Master Plan 2030 that took place last summer revealed that 73% of respondents to the quantitative survey preferred the three-runway option. After thoroughly considering the results of the public consultation exercise, the Board of the AAHK recommended to the Government in December 2011 the adoption of the three-runway system as HKIA's development direction.
Dr Marvin Cheung Kin-tung, Chairman of AAHK, said, "We thank the Government and the public for their support of HKIA. Our airport's future development into a three-runway system is crucial if we are to maintain Hong Kong's status as a leading international and regional aviation centre.
"The planning and development of airport infrastructure is very complex and requires a long lead time. With the Government's approval, we will immediately embark upon a three-phase process of project planning, approval and implementation. During the project planning phase, we will conduct EIA studies, develop the associated design details for facilities that are required under a three-runway system and study funding options.
"Once the process is completed and the environmental permit is obtained for proceeding with a third runway, we will finalise the necessary associated design details and develop suitable financial options for discussion with the Government. Only after all of these have been done successfully can we proceed to seek Government's approval for the third runway project. In other words, it will take about three years, subject to the granting of all required approvals, before we can start building the third runway and its associated facilities," added Dr Cheung.
Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of AAHK, said, "The EIA is a very important process that will help address the environmental issues raised during the public consultation exercise. We are committed to full compliance with the statutory EIA process and will explore every possible way to avoid, minimise and mitigate any environmental impact that might arise from developing into a three-runway system, including marine ecology, fisheries, water quality, air quality, noise and waste."
Earlier, AAHK pledged to undertake air quality studies under the EIA process by benchmarking against the proposed new Air Quality Objectives (AQOs) announced by the Government, despite the fact that the new AQOs will become effective in 2014.
"We do not underestimate the challenges ahead, and we are committed to approaching our upcoming work in a highly prudent, transparent and professional manner as always, working closely with all stakeholders along the way," added Mr Hui.
(From left to right) Kevin Poole, Deputy Director, Projects, AAHK, Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer, AAHK and Wilson Fung Wing-yip, Executive Director, Corporate Development, AAHK, welcome the Government's approval in principle to adopt, for planning purposes, the three-runway option as the future development direction for Hong Kong International Airport.
Mr Hui says that with the Government's approval, AAHK will embark upon a three-phase process of project planning, approval and implementation. AAHK will conduct EIA studies; develop the associated design details for facilities that are required under a three-runway system; and study funding options in the project planning phase.
Mr Poole says that AAHK is committed with the statutory EIA process and will explore every possible way to avoid, minimise and mitigate any environmental impact that might arise from developing into a three-runway system.
Mr Fung says that AAHK will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to exchange views on the future development of the airport.
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