Home » Aviation, Breaking News » HK airport authority takes next step in runway expansion

The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) has submitted the project profile detailing the planned expansion of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) and its potential impact on the environment.

The profile, submitted to the Director of Environmental Protection on May 28, signals the beginning of the project’s statutory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO), an important step in the conversion of the airport from a two-runway system to three.

“What we submitted today outlines the basic information about the project as well as the potential impacts on the environment which shall be addressed in the EIA study covering air quality, water quality, noise, marine ecology, fisheries, waste management, landscape, visual, and cultural heritage,” said Kevin Poole, deputy director for projects of AAHK, in a statement released on May 28.

Under the EIAO, the public will be asked to give feedback on the project profile before the Director of Environmental Protection issues an EIA study brief setting out the scope of environmental issues to be addressed in the EIA study and requirements that the EIA study needs to fulfill.

On receipt of the study brief, AAHK will start the EIA study. This will involve the conduct of a series of comprehensive studies to assess potential environmental impacts and the launch of a series of stakeholder engagement activities to solicit public views. The process is expected to take about two years.

Said Stanley Hui Hon-chung, chief executive officer of AAHK: “The EIA study is a critical element of the planning phase to develop HKIA into a three-runway system, and we will conduct it in a highly engaging, transparent and professional manner.”

The submission of the project profile was welcomed by HKIA’s major air cargo handler, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl), and Hong Kong-based twin carriers Cathay Pacific Airways and Dragonair.

“Hong Kong’s future as a world-class airline hub relies heavily on its ability to continue satisfying the future needs of passengers, exporters, importers and airlines. The current two-runway system will soon be overloaded; without positive action, this will cause major damage to Hong Kong’s trade-based economy and our employment market,” said Mark Whitehead, managing director of Hactl.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific dubbed the start of the statutory EIA process as an “important milestone” for a crucial project that will ensure that Hong Kong remains one of the world’s leading international aviation hubs.

Dragonair’s chief executive officer, Patrick Yeung, expressed support for the EIA study and AAHK’s efforts to solicit public opinion on the project profile. “We are looking forward to a balanced discussion that takes into account socio-economic benefits as well as environmental protection matters,” he said.

 

Photo: Timitrius

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