Good news on airport costs not reported

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 July, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 July, 1994, 12:00am

YOUR lead report (Business Post, July 8) on airport costs shows clearly how risky it is to speak to reporters.

I am the ''consultant to the PAA (Provisional Airport Authority)'' referred to by your reporter, Simon Fluendy.

Mr Fluendy quoted me correctly, but only in part.

I told him that airport costs made a great story because the news was so good, not bad.

PAA, which barely existed two years ago, has done nothing short of an outstanding job controlling costs, and in many unsung cases reducing costs thus far in this huge and complex project.

Given the anxiety about this project fanned by certain interested parties, professional and successful cost control by the PAA should be a big story.

But Mr Fluendy must have judged that good news does not sell.

He did report clearly on the two main risks of the delay: inflation and a temptation later to accelerate construction for political reasons. Removing these is a serious concern.

Therefore, my twofold message to Mr Fluendy was that the PAA is competent and is serving Hong Kong extremely well, and that delays over the airport agreement will cause the people of Hong Kong the effect of inflation.

Clearly, the PAA should be free to do its job as soon as possible.

Wesley Brookes vice-president J P Morgan