Kai Tak's redevelopment takes off with CEO's help

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 March, 1998, 12:00am

When the skies over Kai Tak fall silent in July, the ground will tremble as work starts to turn the deserted former international airport into a new urban conurbation.

Closely involved in this transformation will be the Civil Engineering Office (CEO) which has just secured ISO 9001 certification together with the Landslip Preventive Measures (LPM) Branch of the Geotechnical Engineering Office (GEO).

Both the CEO and the LPM group are expected to reap benefits from the ISO quality standard.

Enoch Lam, the CEO's ISO 9001 quality manager, said adopting the quality standard would assist in ensuring the southeast Kowloon redevelopment, including Kai Tak, would be completed within time and on budget.

This is critical if the massive project is to remain on track.

Redevelopment of Kai Tak, together with associated reclamation work in the bay area, will be carried out over 10 to 15 years.

The redevelopment is a massive undertaking especially considering the combined area of the site totals about 600 hectares, split equally between the existing airport and new reclamation. This is twice the size of the West Kowloon reclamation.

The first stage alone is worth $3.26 billion, according to initial expenditure figures contained in last month's budget estimates.

'ISO 9001 has provided us with a good system. The redevelopment has a number of stages which have to be gone through. Each has an effect on time and budget. If we have a well- developed system everyone knows what the targets are. ISO 9001 provides that,' Mr Lam said.

The CEO's exact role on the southeast Kowloon redevelopment will be finalised once a feasibility study is completed for the Territory Development Department which is overseeing the project.

But Mr Lam is certain the scheme will continue CEO's long association with the site.

'The CEO has been responsible for maintaining the airport for years,' he said.

This work involved extending the runway in the early 1970s, repairs to the runway and apron, building a taxiway bridge across the nullah and periodic maintenance of the road, water supply and drainage networks.

'The southeast Kowloon redevelopment means CEO will continue to have a role, but it will be of a different nature,' Mr Lam added.

The CEO expects to be given responsibility for the construction of roads, drainage and other on-site infrastructure. The CEO is also set for a large share of the marine work which includes Kai Tak typhoon shelters and construction connected to some initial reclamation near Kai Tak nullah.

Successful certification for new work has encouraged the Civil Engineering Office to seek ISO 9001 for the remaining parts of its operations, including maintenance and district operations.

The Civil Engineering Department, the parent organisation for the CEO and GEO, is also seeking to obtain the ISO 9001 quality standard for its survey division.

The move would reduce the chances of errors by survey staff, many of whom work in the field, supporting CEO and GEO engineers in difficult and sometimes hazardous conditions.

For the Landslip Preventive Measures Branch, ISO 9001 certification could help save lives.

Dr Andrew Malone, the Government's principal geotechnical engineer, said ISO 9001 certification would be crucial for public confidence in the slope safety programme.