Hong Kong government endorses third runway

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Published: March 21, 2012

Hong Kong’s Executive Council has—in principle at least—endorsed the construction of a third runway at Hong Kong International (HKI), according to the official Hong Kong government website ( ATW Daily News, Jan. 4 ).

The endorsement means the airport authority can proceed with an environmental impact assessment, plan design details and financial arrangements, Secretary for Transport and Housing Eva Cheng told media Tuesday. The government has asked the authority to conduct the environmental study in a strict and professional manner, looking at marine ecology, noise and air quality. The assessment is expected to take two years. 

 “The government wants the authority to complete the assessment, design and financial options by the end of 2014 so the runway can be built by 2023,” news.gov.hk said, adding that the forecast cost of the facility is $ 136 billion. It will also involve the reclamation of 650 hectares of land from the sea.

A high-level steering committee will be set up to work with the authority on the project, along with a dedicated team led by the associated policy bureau, which is a sign of high level commitment for the project.

Cheng emphasized the need for long-term planning for the airport, as air traffic last year had already reached the forecast demand for 2013, as stated in the HIK Master Plan 2030.

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