Date
15 December 2017
The Airport Authority has adopted several measures to address environmental concerns, including the impact of the construction of the third runway on the habitat of endangered dolphins. Photo: Internet
The Airport Authority has adopted several measures to address environmental concerns, including the impact of the construction of the third runway on the habitat of endangered dolphins. Photo: Internet

Hong Kong airport to launch third runway by 2023

Hong Kong International Airport is expected to have its third runway completed by 2023 after the Director of Environmental Protection issued a work permit on Friday, RTHK reported.

The Advisory Council on the Environment has backed the plan to build a third runway at the airport despite concerns over its impact on marine ecology. It recommended that the government accept the environmental impact assessment report and issue a permit with 20 conditions attached.

Airport Authority chairman Fred Lam Tin-fuk welcomed the decision and cited various programs to address environmental concerns related to the project.

The authority promised to build a 2,400-hectare marine park and establish two funds to support improvements to the marine ecology and fisheries resources in the airport’s vicinity.

It also said the Skypier high-speed ferry services will be rerouted and their speed limits lowered during the runway construction while a non-dredging reclamation method will be adopted to reduce underwater noise that could affect the dolphins.

“The airport is already operating at nearly full capacity,” Lam said. “The three-runway system will help accommodate the city’s long-term aviation demand, and also generate local employment and boost economic growth.”

The practical maximum runway capacity of the existing two-runway system is 420,000 aircraft movements annually and it is estimated that the airport will reach its maximum capacity between 2019 and 2022.

The three-runway system will allow the airport to handle future traffic demand as estimated by IATA Consulting, that is, 102 million passengers, 8.9 million tons of cargo and 607,000 aircraft movements per year by 2030.

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JZ/JP/CG 

Freelance journalist

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