special committee to be set up to monitor Airport Authority construction

special committee to be set up to monitor Airport Authority construction

Pan-democrat lawmakers want a special committee to be set up to monitor Airport Authority construction of the third runway.

The new body would come under the House Committee of the Legislative Council.

:Lawmakers made the recommendation yesterday during a joint meeting of the panels on economic development and environmental affairs.

Civic Party lawmaker Dennis Kwok Wing-hang said the committee would monitor the controversial project that is causing a great deal of public concern.

“Even if the third runway is built, there are many issues involved such as the financial arrangement on building the runway and the impacts on transportation, environment and economic development,” Kwok said.

However tourism-sector lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said he hopes the pan-democrat lawmakers will not obstruct its construction for the sake of opposing the project.

Yiu said most citizens and the local business sector support building the runway.

Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong lawmaker Tam Yiu-chung said his party supports such a committee to be set up under the House Committee.

“The construction of the third runway is a huge project with a huge sum of money involved and it would pose a great impact on environment and economic development,” Tam said.

“It is more appropriate to set up such a committee under the House Committee because lawmakers who are concerned about the construction of the third runway can also join the committee to discuss the issue.”

The Airport Authority was given the green light to build the runway at a cost of HK$141.5 billion.

The project will be funded by bank loans and bonds, the operational surplus of the airport and dividends and charging passengers and airlines.

Departing passengers will be charged HK$180 from next year and airlines 15 percent more to help fund the development.

As the government will not inject taxpayers’ money into the project, there is no need for it to pass through the Legislative Council.

This has sparked further concern among parties.



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