AA: Reclamation delay won't affect 2022 opening of third runway

April 25, 2019 17:24
The Airport Authority said the delay in the reclamation work for the third runway was mainly caused by bad weather and shortage of sand supply. Photo: CNSA

The Airport Authority (AA) said the third runway of the Hong Kong International Airport will open in 2022 as scheduled despite a delay in the reclamation work.

In a paper submitted to the Legislative Council on Wednesday, the authority said the delay was mainly caused by bad weather and shortage of sand supply for the reclamation, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

According to the authority, fill production and sand deliveries were temporarily suspended in the first half of February, and adverse weather conditions last year had also caused reclamation work to lag 18 weeks behind schedule.

As a result, reclamation will not be completed until mid-2021. It was originally estimated to be finished sometime next year.

Nonetheless, the authority said the new runway will be commissioned by 2022, the original target.

While the main sources of the sand for the reclamation are Guangdong and Fujian provinces, the AA said in the paper the main contractor for the reclamation has placed orders with the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the delivery of the first batch is expected to arrive by the middle of this year, hk01.com reported.

Sand has also been ordered from the Philippines and Malaysia, although the supply is still currently limited due to requirements from local authorities.

The paper showed that the AA has so far awarded major contracts worth about HK$48 billion in total for construction of the third runway, and that the authority aims to keep expenditures within the budget of HK$141.5 billion.

The AA is set to make a presentation on the progress of the runway construction to the Legislative Council’s Panel on Economic Development on Monday.

Roundtable lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun, who is a member of the panel, said he plans to follow up on why the AA failed to reveal the 18-week delay in a press release it issued at the end of February.

This has led him to suspect that the authority had tried to conceal the problem or might have some management issues.

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