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Airport saga continues

SCMP Laisee 29 Sept 2012

Readers may be familiar with the continuing struggle between green non-governmental groups and the Airport Authority over conducting a social return on investment (SROI) study on the proposed third runway.

The authority steadfastly resisted the move, even after it was urged to conduct one by the Legislative Council’s environmental panel. The green groups were therefore stunned when the authority on September 19 issued a press release headlined “Airport Authority goes extra mile to appraise impact of planned three-runway system”.

The green groups felt this was disingenuous since the authority has not agreed as such to conduct an SROI. It issued its own response recently, arguing that the authority “still has many more miles to go to establish itself as a socially responsible airport”. It reiterates its key claim that the authority has “remained reluctant to commit to the environmental group’s key demands for a social and environmental cost assessment”. It also warns that unless it does agree it will not participate in technical briefing groups organised as part of the environmental impact assessment process.

All this is proving very awkward for the authority since recently announcing its objective of becoming the greenest airport in the world.

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