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A View on the Contestable Expansion of Hong Kong International Airport

  • Date Submitted: 08/13/2011 10:09 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 43 
  • Words: 405
  • Essay Grade: no grades
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Dear editor,

    I am writing to express my views on the contestable expansion of Hong Kong International Airport. The proposal, which was given out by the Airport Authority, stressing the importance of building a third runway as to maintain Hong Kong as an international aviation hub. The pressing concern of the present airport ----- reaching capacity by around 2020, as what the Authority claimed, can be solved by opening the third runway and it will enable the airport to handle air traffic demand up to 2030 and beyond. However, the proposal was bitterly opposed and criticized by the Green Groups, like Friends of the Earth and WWF, as a plan that seriously lacks in specifics about the environmental impacts and the resultant costs. It is quite a reasonable censure.
    One of the most ridiculous points listed on the consultation paper is that the citizens are being asked to support an investment of HK$136 billion for the project, which was originally estimated at around HK$86.2 billion last year. The Airport Authority failed to offer any further details or reasons for the steep rise in cost. Obviously, with such limited information, the business sector would not support the proposal and would not give a go-ahead on an investment of a lesser magnitude.
What is more appalling is that the Authority even tried to conceal the harmful effects on the environment that caused by the project. Despite the new runway would involve reclaiming 600 hectares of sea north of Chek Lap Kok airport, which marine conservationists described as the major habitats of white dolphin, the Authority turned a blind eye to the serious consequences which might bring to the natural environment. The more terrifying fact is that the project might result in ongoing loss of fishery grounds for our fishing community. No matter how many rewards the airport get, it cannot cover this kind of enormous loss for the city. Nothing is forthcoming on this social and economic cost to our community....

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