Time runs out for runway protesters

Local | Adeline Mak 1 Aug 2016

Green groups are demanding an immediate halt to work on the planned third runway.

Groups including Green Sense, Airport Development Concern Network and Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society and Ma Wan residents protested at Hong Kong International Airport yesterday with construction work and the charging of fees for the proposed third runway starting today.

Holding banners saying "anti-third runway" and "shame on the Airport Authority," protesters placed a paper bloodied white dolphin at the arrival hall.

The groups said they have exhausted all channels to raise awareness of the possible repercussions of the runway, such as pollution, destruction of marine habitat and confusion over air traffic control but that the government ignored the pleas, even with the result a judicial review awaited, and pressed ahead.

The Airport Authority has failed to say what it is going to do with airport construction fees it is charging passengers if the judicial review goes against it, the groups said. The court has yet to hand down a ruling on the judicial review it heard last month challenging the permit for building the third runway granted by the Environmental Protection Department.

Network spokesman Michael Mo Kwan-tai, who estimated 200 joined the demonstration yesterday, said he will use his body to protest against the construction launch today.

"The Airport Authority has persisted with starting the construction without waiting for the court verdict," Mo said. "We are also sorry for the Chinese white dolphins that will die because of the construction."

The authority will from today charge departing passengers a construction fee ranging from HK$70 to HK$180 for the HK$141.5 billion project.

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