Airport body advice 'ignored'
THE Airport Consultative Committee has accused the Government of ignoring its advice and denying requests for information, and has demanded a bigger role in the project.
Chairman Wong Po-yan told yesterday's committee meeting that the committee should no longer be regarded as an ornament and should start monitoring the project.
''The professionals should then be able to make their contribution, for example, on engineering or planning,'' he said.
Committee members have accused the Government of not answering their questions about the airport and demanded more information.
Committee member Dr Victor Sit Fung-shuen said the advisory body had been sidelined for the past three years because of government reluctance to pass crucial information to it.
''Once the financial arrangements have been settled, the Government can no longer use the excuse of commercial secrecy to distance itself from the advisory body,'' he said.
''And the members can concern themselves with practical issues, such as land supply, transport, air safety and the environment.'' Dr Sit said the committee should be the only legitimate channel for advice.
Another committee member, Dr Laurie Wan Sek-luen, complained the Government had turned a deaf ear to its advice, which had led to problems, such as pollution near the reclamation works.
The Government's New Airport Projects Co-ordination Office's director, Billy Lam Chung-lun, said the committee did have a role to play in the project.
Mr Lam said the Government would discuss the committee's role with the Provisional Airport Authority after a financial agreement was reached.
The committee members, mostly local professionals and academics, had been appointed by the Government with reference to the Chinese Government's recommendations.