In response to the article, "Third runway may stymie big ships" (October 15), the Airport Authority would like to point out that the associated scheme designs for the planned three-runway system - covering the layout of the new runway and its related terminal and concourse facilities, operation and taxiway systems - are currently under way.
The scheme designs also examine the impact of the new airport height restriction zone and approach area under the three-runway system on the sea.
The authority is in the process of consulting pertinent stakeholders such as the marine industry, ferry operators and the relevant authorities in Shenzhen.
Recently, the authority launched a study assessing the impact, if any, of the planned third runway on the operations and volume of marine and air traffic inside the airport height restriction zone and approach area. This is expected to be completed in 2014.
Initial findings suggest that the impact and risks to marine operations (including those for the Lantau Anchorage No 2 and Longgu West Fairway) arising from the operation of the third runway can be managed effectively by putting in place an appropriate administrative arrangement between the relevant authorities in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Doing so would allow even the biggest ocean-going vessels to travel within the airport height restriction zone. Similar practices have proven to be practical for many other airports facing a similar situation.
The three-runway system project is very important to Hong Kong, and we are committed to conducting its development in a professional and responsible manner.
Given the complexity and scale of the project, we understand that stakeholders may have views about its potential impact.
We would like to assure all concerned parties that their views are being taken on board and addressed.
We would also like to reiterate our firm commitment to identifying and properly managing all likely impacts to ensure the feasibility of the three-runway system.
Tommy Leung, general manager, projects, Airport Authority