Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Twenty Ma Wan residents, in pajamas and sporting made-up eyebags, showed up at a Town Planning Board meeting yesterday to oppose the third airport runway plan.
They said they were annoyed by the noise of aircraft flying overhead and criticized the government and Airport Authority for ignoring their complaints.
In the lobby, the group played a short drama of scenes of residents sleepless in Ma Wan and the noise they have to endure before entering the public hearing at 8.45am at the board’s headquarters in North Point..
Every five minutes of the hearing, the protesters made aircraft noises.
Tsuen Wan district councillor for the Ma Wan constituency Roy Tam Hoi-pong, who led the protest, said: “Ma Wan has been affected by the noise pollution from the airport and residents have been complaining and annoyed every second.
“The Airport Authority keeps promoting the third runway, saying that there’ll be fewer airplanes crossing over Man Wan if the project is completed,” Tam said.
“But the former director of civil aviation, Albert Lam Kwong-yu, has said the problem could not be solved unless cross-border airspace allows more airplanes flying to the south.”
However, he said, it was almost impossible for a more open cross-border airspace.
Tam, who is also president of Green Sense, said that the third runway would not only affect Ma Wan residents but also the marine environment.
“We strongly oppose the project since the government and Airport Authority have not solved the noise pollution, environmental and economic problems,” he added.
At the same meeting, former Observatory head Lam Chiu-ying also opposed the plan, saying building the third runway would not expand the airspace for aircraft flying into Hong Kong.
In a 16-slide Power Point presentation he sent to The Standard, Lam suggested expanding Terminal One to enhance the airport’s competitiveness.
“If the airspace problem cannot be solved, the northern flight paths are still unavailable, and the flight frequency is limited,” he wrote.
Lam also demanded the Town Planning Board resubmit the project’s application, stating the need for adding the runway and ensuring flight safety.
The meeting of the board on the draft Chek Lap Kok outline zoning plan will continue in North Point today.