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Survey reveals only 39% of interviewees support ‘Third Runway’ project

Labour Unions of Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and British Airways declared to protect Hong Kong environment

 

 

(24 July 2014, Press Release) Friends of the Earth (HK), the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society and the Professional Commons jointly formed the ‘Social and Return on Investment Panel’ (the Panel), which conducted a survey on third runway and revealed that 47% of the respondents chose to expand the ‘dual runway system’ and keeping the balance between economic development and conservation; while only 39% of the respondents think that there is a need for a third runway. The result is highly contrary to the poll conducted by the Airport Authority three years ago which claimed 70% of the respondents supported for the third runway. The Panel believes that reason for an increased rejection to third runway is that, public has better knowledge on the social and environmental costs of it. Therefore, to ensure the public are making the right decision based on sufficient and relevant information; the Airport Authority should disclose more information regarding economic benefits, social costs, and revaluate the environmental impacts with due care.

 

The research was conducted by the Social Sciences Research Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University, under the commission of the Panel, and was conducted during the period of 18-20 December 2013. 1,007 Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above were randomly selected for interview through telephone.

 

The questioned asked in the interview was: ‘Airport Authority forecasted that the third runway would bring $47 billion more economic benefits in the coming 18 years, which is equivalent to the cost of constructing 90,000 new public housing units, when compared with the expansion of the existing two runways. On the other hand, the cost of building the third runway would be at least $136 billion, which means construction of 260,000 new public housing units would be abandoned. Meanwhile, experts believe that the third runway will affect the marine ecology and Chinese white dolphins. Based on the above information, do you agree with the following statement?”Based on the consideration on cost efficiency and conservation, I think the use of dual runway model is more appropriate.’

Amongst the respondents, professionals, educators, working labors and housewives are more willing to support the "dual runway system", while managers, executives and retirees prefer the "three runway system."

 

In terms of education level, respondents received secondary education and university degree tend to support the ‘dual runway system’, while respondents who tend to support the ‘three runway system are more polarized, some of them only received primary education while some of them with a master degree or above. In terms of the respondents’ age, the young respondents had a higher ratio of objecting the third runway, while respondents who are aged 60 and above tend to agree to build the third runway.

 

Since the future infrastructure and environment are enjoyed by the younger generation, their views are indispensable. The public consultation of Third Runway System EIA had just ended, with 20,000 submissions questioning the reliability of EIA. At the same time, Flight attendant unions of Cathay Pacific Airways (Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union), Dragonair (Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants Association) and British Airways (BAHKICCA) expressed their concern about the impact of Third Runway System on economical estimations and ecology. These labour unions are willing to consider the overall benefit and costs to society. In contrast, the government would spend a huge sum to build this ’white elephant’ – the third runway, ignoring the costs of local environment, transportation needs and housing needs.   This phenomenon is definitely unprecedented. We urge the Airport Authority to reassess the environmental impact and disclose information on construction costs, fund raising, economic benefits, etc., as soon as possible. The government should also protect the public right and enhance transparency.

 

 

Attendance List:

  • Julian Yau, Vice-Chairman (External), Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union
  • Michelle Choi, Honorary Secretary, Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union
  • Albert Lai, Convenor of Social and Return on Investment Panel  
  • Melonie Chau, Assistant Environmental Affairs Manager, Friends of the Earth (HK)
  • Carol Ng, Chairperson, BA Hong Kong International Cabin Crew Association
  • Priscilla Mok, Chairperson, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants Association

 

 

 

The survey reveals 47% of interviewees prefer the ‘Dual Runway System’ than the third runway.

 

Melonie Chau, Assistant Environmental Affairs Manager, Friends of the Earth (HK) pointed out that the young respondents had a higher ratio of objecting the third runway.

 

Albert Lai, Convenor of Social and Return on Investment Panel urged the Airport Authority to revaluate the environmental impacts of ‘Third Runway’

 

Priscilla Mok, Chairperson, Hong Kong Dragon Airlines Flight Attendants Association indicated that the development of infrastructure need to keep the balance between economic development and conservation

 

Julian Yau, Vice-Chairman (External) of Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union added that the Airport Authority should disclose more information.

 

Carol Ng, Chairperson, BA Hong Kong International Cabin Crew Association said the labour unions of Cathay Pacific, Dragonair and British Airway declared not to support this ‘White elephant’.

 

Press conference attracted a number of media.

 

 

Media Enquiries:

Rita Hung, Communication and Marketing Officer, Friends of the Earth (HK) 2528 5588

 

Melonie Chau, Assistant Environmental Affairs Manager, Friends of the Earth (HK) 2528 5588

 

 

Detailed poll data:

 

 

Overall

 

Totally Agree

11%

Agree

36%

Disagree

30%

Totally Disagree

9%

No comments

14%

 

 

By Age

18-19-20

21-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

70-88

Agree

63%

66%

58%

49%

44%

35%

35%

Disagree

34%

32%

32%

40%

41%

42%

44%

 

By Income

None

Up to $9,999

$10,000-19,999

$20,000-29,999

$30,000-39,999

$40,000-49,999

$50,000-59,999

$60,000-69,999

$70,000-99,999

$100,000+

Agree

38%

38%

49%

62%

49%

54%

46%

49%

47%

34%

Disagree

39%

40%

39%

27%

45%

37%

48%

38%

43%

60%

 

Occupation

Managers & Admin

Professionals & Educators

Assoc. Profess

Clerk & Sect

Serv & Sale

Blue collar

House

Retire

Unemploy & other

Student

Agree

45%

48%

56%

47%

53%

49%

48%

36%

53%

67%

Disagree

48%

45%

40%

45%

27%

41%

26%

41%

34%

30%

 

Education

Primary 6 or below

F1-3/Jr. High school

F4-6/High school

Some univ/Assoc Degree

University graduate

Post-grad Degree

Agree

32%

50%

52%

50%

47%

43%

Disagree

40%

28%

37%

38%

44%

53%

 

 

 

 



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