Airport Authority dismisses report on third runway delay

Local | 25 Feb 2019 7:08 pm

The Airport Authority said today that reclamation to build the third runway has been hampered by bad weather and the lack of sand, but officials remained confident that the new runway will be opened as per schedule, RTHK reports.

This came after a report by Ming Pao daily said that the project is now nearly six months behind schedule and may face cost overrun. The report cited a construction contract the paper obtained, and raised concerns that the lack of sand may push up the construction cost.

The construction of the third runway needs to reclaim 650 hectares of land – that's as big as 34 Victoria Parks combined.

The filling process started last May and the work was expected to continue in full swing this year.

In a statement, the authority said its contractor is responsible for sourcing filling material from different places such as the mainland, Philippines and Malaysia.

It said the company is now seeking to expand imports from Guangxi and Guangdong, find suitable quarry sites and increase the production lines of artificial sand.

But the authority said such contract cannot directly reflect progress as some construction procedures may have changed following on-site inspection and that a single contract price cannot reflect the overall cost.

The third runway is planned to open in 2022 and the entire airport expansion project is expected to finish in 2024 at the total cost of more than HK$14 billion. The Airport Authority said these targets have not changed.

It said so far the foundation of the reclamation is more than 90 percent complete, about half of the almost 10-kilometer long embankment is done and the designing of a third passenger concourse is going ahead according to plans.-Photo: RTHK

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