The Airport Authority should stick to its former plan and shave the peaks off two hills on Lantau Island to increase the capacity of the two existing runways rather than build a third one, Ming Pao Daily quoted a concern group as saying.
People’s Aviation Watch has been monitoring plans for a third runway at Hong Kong International Airport.
The authority commissioned consultants to produce a New Airport Master Plan, which was completed in 1992, but has never implemented it, the group said.
It asked why the plan, which could have increased the airport’s capacity in a cheaper and more environmentally friendly way than building a third runway, was ignored.
The cost of the planned runway is estimated at more than HK$100 billion (US$12.9 billion).
The group said slicing the top off the hills as the plan proposed could help shrink the interval between outbound flights by as much as one third.
Lam Chiu-ying, a former director of the Hong Kong Observatory and one of the group’s founding members, asked the authority to explain to the public why the 1992 plan was shelved, the newspaper said Friday.
Another group, the Airport Development Concern Network, said the plan had suggested cutting 11 meters off Tai Yam Teng peak and 60 meters off Fa Peng Teng peak on northeast Lantau, to allow outbound flights to leave earlier to ease air traffic congestion.
A spokesman for the authority said the plan was mainly aimed at evaluating construction of infrastructure at the airport and had nothing to do with enhancing its flight capacity.
The plan was only suitable for “mixed-mode” operation, which allows departures and arrivals on the same runway, under the existing dual runway system, he said. The airport has never adopted that mode.
– Contact us at [email protected]