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December 4th, 2013:

Airline Representatives official distorts Third Runway debate as ‘Environment vs Economy’, pours out the kool-aid.

Mr. Joe Ng, vice-chairman of the Board of Airline Representatives of Hong Kong, wrote in to the SCMP to weigh in on the debate regarding the Third Runway proposal of the Hong Kong Airport:

The current discussion around the proposed three-runway system at Hong Kong International Airport is focused on the potential impacts on the environment.

The environmental lobby and those living near the airport have raised valid concerns about the potential impact on local ecology, noise disturbance and air quality. But there is also the validity of the overall need for a third runway to consider.

Not only is Hong Kong International Airport a major transport hub, it is also vital to the city’s continued prosperity as an economic powerhouse. This brings benefits to everyone in Hong Kong, not just airline passengers or cargo shippers.

It also generates vital benefits through connections between cities and markets that enable foreign direct investment, business development and other spillover benefits that help Hong Kong thrive. Currently, aviation is worth HK$88.9 billion to Hong Kong, representing 5.5 per cent of gross domestic product.