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Hong Kong's third runway proposal

Third runway at Chek Lap Kok would be 'white elephant', say groups

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 August, 2014, 6:10am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 April, 2015, 10:56am

A third runway at Chek Lap Kok airport will become another "white elephant", groups opposed to the plan say.

Neither Terminal Two, built in 2007, nor the HK$1 billion North Satellite Concourse, have helped the airport increase efficiency or flight capacity, according to environmental group Green Sense and the Airport Development Concern Network.

The groups are making a last-ditch attempt to highlight the fallacies of building a third runway before the Advisory Council on the Environment begins the first of several meetings today to discuss results of a public inspection of an environmental report.

The fate of Hong Kong's costliest infrastructure project hinges on how well the public accepts the results of the environmental assessment.

However, the groups are urging the committee to declare the environment report "no go" until it provides alternative solutions to the third runway.

"Terminal Two has no air bridges and only serves departures, not arrivals," said network spokesman Michael Mo.

"Some of the commercial space has nothing to do with travel. The concourse, meanwhile, serves just 10 aircraft, can only be reached by bus and only serves narrow-bodied aircraft used by very few passengers," he added.

He urged the airport to stop allowing so many narrow body jets flying to third and fourth tier cities to use up valuable airspace and timeslots.

An Airport Authority spokesman said carriers decided their own aircraft mix.

Lam Chiu-ying, now adjunct professor at the Chinese University's department of geography and resources, said the airport operator had "bungled" management of the facility and had no justification to ask for a third runway.

Roy Tam Hoi-pong of Green Sense said: "If they can't use the existing two runways at maximum operational efficiency then a third won't change anything. It will just be another white elephant."