The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK) submitted its project profile to the Director of Environmental Protection for the expansion of Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) into a three-runway system.
The submission is made following the Government’s approval in principle for AAHK to adopt for planning purpose the three-runway system as the future development option for HKIA, and it marks the beginning of the project’s statutory Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process under the Environmental Impact Assessment Ordinance (EIAO).
Under the EIAO, members of the public will have 14 days from 29 May to 11 June to forward their written comments on the project profile to the Director of Environmental Protection before he issues an EIA Study Brief that will set out the scope of environmental issues to be addressed in the EIA study and requirements that the EIA study shall need to fulfill. On receipt of the Study Brief, AAHK and its consultants will start conducting a series of comprehensive studies to assess potential environmental impacts and launch a series of stakeholder engagement activities to solicit public views.
To facilitate stakeholders’ exchange of views on the EIA and related issues, AAHK will set up technical briefing groups and invite environmental experts, green NGOs, industry representatives, and relevant government officials to join these groups, with a view to addressing the potential environmental impacts arising from HKIA’s expansion into a three-runway system. Community liaison groups inviting the participation of relevant district councillors, area committee members and other community representatives will also be established to collect feedback and suggestions.
Stanley Hui Hon-chung, Chief Executive Officer of AAHK, said, “The expansion of HKIA will enhance Hong Kong’s long-term development and overall competitiveness. The EIA study is a critical element of the planning phase to develop HKIA into a three-runway system, and we will conduct it in a highly engaging, transparent and professional manner.”
“What we submitted today outlines the basic information about the project as well as the potential impacts on the environment which shall be addressed in the EIA study covering air quality, water quality, noise, marine ecology, fisheries, waste management, landscape, visual, and cultural heritage,” said Kevin Poole, Deputy Director, Projects, AAHK.
AAHK will start the EIA study after receiving the Study Brief. The process is expected to take about two years to complete. During this period, apart from setting up technical briefing and community liaison groups, AAHK will also organise exhibitions, talks, airport visits, roundtable briefings and meetings to build understanding, facilitate interaction and solicit views among stakeholders. In addition, AAHK plans to publish an electronic newsletter to keep members of the public informed of the EIA process and studies.
“As always, we place great value on the feedback we collect as we explore all possible ways to avoid, minimise, mitigate and compensate for potential environmental impacts. We strive to make HKIA the greenest airport in the world and to contribute to the long-term sustainable development of Hong Kong,” concluded Mr Hui.