TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The third runway at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport should still be completed in 2025, despite recent proposals for a delay until 2030 amid falling traffic due to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, reports said Tuesday (Aug. 25).
At a recent meeting between officials from different government departments, the Ministry of Transportation reportedly advocated the delay, motivated by lower traffic and concerns that the necessary acquisitions of land could not be wrapped up in time, CNA reported.
Before the pandemic hit international travel, a strong rise in arrivals and departures at Taiwan’s main airport had convinced the government to bump up the target year for the completion of the third runway from 2030 to 2025.
However, Minister of Public Construction Wu Tse-cheng (吳澤成) said the coronavirus pandemic would be temporary and should not be used to push the completion date back to 2030. On the contrary, the process should move forward at full speed, the minister said.
If the project meets problems along the way, such as trouble with expropriations and land acquisition, then a new completion date can be agreed upon, but for the time being, the government should stick to the 2025 target date, CNA quoted Wu as saying.
In March, the third runway passed an environmental impact assessment over opposition by environmental groups, which pointed out the dangers posed by a nearby oil depot and the forced relocation of an estimated 16,000 residents.