The Airport Authority (AA) of Hong Kong has welcomed the decision of the director of environmental protection to approve the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report and issue an environmental permit (EP) for the proposed expansion of Hong Kong International Airport.
With this expansion, the airport would be converted into a three-runway system (3RS).
Now that the design for the 3RS project has been completed, the AA is reviewing the cost estimate and associated funding arrangement. Once that is done, the authority will submit its recommendations to the government on how to take the project forward.
AA CEO Fred Lam said: "It marks a major step in Hong Kong's pursuit of strengthening its long-term competitiveness and leading aviation hub status.
"The AA is committed to carrying out all the mitigation measures proposed in the 3RS EIA report, and fully complying with all the conditions listed by the Environmental Protection Department in a highly prudent, transparent and professional manner.
"Our aim is to achieve a balance between economic development and conservation."
The AA is also working on development of a management plan for a 2,400-hectare marine park, which is mentioned in the EIA report.
Besides that, the authority would also formulate and finance a detailed marine ecology conservation plan, which would work on the development of an approach towards marine life conservation.
Lam further stated that the airport was close to reaching its maximum capacity and that with the expansion, Hong Kong would be able to meet its long-term air traffic demand.
Image: Terminal 2 at the Hong Kong International Airport. Photo: courtesy of Hong Kong International Airport.