Hactl applauds HKIA’s progress on third runway

Hong Kong International Airport is one step closer to housing a third runway, thanks to the Airport Authority Hong Kong’s submission of its project profile to the Director of Environmental Protection. Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd. Managing Director Mark Whitehead applauded this action, which launches a probe into the environmental impact of a three-runway system.

“We believe the two-year process that has been initiated by HKIA will ensure that every aspect of the expansions’ potential impact is fully considered, and that the project will then be conducted at every stage in a way that mitigates and minimizes its effect,” Whitehead said in a statement.

AAHK’s submission of the project profile is the latest development in the construction process and follows the Hong Kong government’s conditional approval of the third runway in March. It also marks the launch of the project’s statutory Environmental Impact Assessment process under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance, according to a press release.

“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,” Kevin Poole, deputy director, projects, AAHK, said in a statement.

Members of the public will also be able to share their thoughts about the sustainability of a third runway. From May 29 until June 11, citizens of Hong Kong can send letters about the project profile to the Director of Environmental Protection; he will then issue an EIA Study Brief highlighting the environmental concerns of a three-runway system and the EIA study requirements.

AAHK will later solicit feedback from environmental experts and government officials, as well as green non-governmental organizations and industry representatives, about the impact of a third runway, according to the press release.

For his part, Whitehead called the HKIA expansion necessary, although he reiterated that it should be done in an environmentally friendly manner. “It is very clear that Hong Kong’s future as a worldclass airline hub relies heavily on its ability to continue satisfying the future needs of passengers, exporters, importers and airlines,” he said in a statement.

“The current two-runway system will soon be overloaded,” Whitehead continued. “Without positive action, this will cause major damage to Hong Kong’s trade-based economy and our employment market.”

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