The government has again recruited Japanese architect Norihiko Dan to design new airport terminals in four of the nation’s outlying islands, Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director General Lin Kuo-hsien (林國顯) said yesterday at a ceremony to mark the agency’s 73rd anniversary.
Dan was in charge of the renovation of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Terminal 1 as well as the design of the Tourism Bureau’s Siangshan Visitors Center in Nantou County’s Sun Moon Lake.
Dan is to design the airport terminals in Penghu County’s Cimei (七美) and Wangan (望安) townships, and Taitung County’s Green Island (綠島) and Orchid Island (Lanyu, 蘭嶼), Lin said.
Photo courtesy of the Civil Aeronautics Administration
This would fulfill the Ministry of Transportation and Communications’ (MOTC) policy goal of incorporating aesthetics into the design of public infrastructure, he said.
These terminals would become new tourism gateways showcasing the characteristics of these localities, he said, adding that construction is to begin next year.
Lin also presented progress reports on the upgrading of the nation’s four international airports: Taoyuan airport, Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), Taichung International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport.
After 12 years of planning, the CAA has submitted the expropriation plan for land near Taoyuan airport to the Ministry of the Interior (MOI), he said, adding that the key would be for the airport’s third runway construction project to secure the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Committee’s approval in the first quarter of this year.
The MOI has said it would not approve the land expropriation plan without an EIA approval for the runway.
Last week, the EIA committee asked the CAA to provide more supplementary information on the land expropriation plan.
The plan would give the airport access to more than 1,000 hectares, which would cost NT$157.5 billion (US$5.26 billion), he said.
To fund the acquisition, the Civil Aeronautics Administration Operating Fund would be used as collateral to secure a bank loan of about NT$100 billion, he said, adding that the northern part of the land is to be used to construct the third runway.
Should everything proceed smoothly, the CAA would start expropriating the properties from private owners in March, he said.
Songshan airport, as the airport in the capital, should have a bigger capacity to serve more passengers, and the CAA would discuss with the Taipei City Government issues related to noise control and flight schedules, he said.
Taichung airport, which is jointly used by civil carriers and the air force, is important because Mandarin Airlines (華信航空) and other airlines are using it as an operation base, Lin said.
The MOTC had previously stipulated a development plan for Taichung airport that was estimated to cost NT$28.5 billion, and would have been completed in 2035, Lin said.
However, the MOTC and the Executive Yuan have asked the CAA to expand the scale of development and extend the plan to 2040.
“Because the military also wants to quickly hand over its property in the airport’s Yangsi District (陽西), we are working on a new development plan through which the airport can serve up to 10 million passengers annually,” he said.
The relocation of the air force base at Taichung airport would cost more than NT$70 billion.
As for Kaohsiung aiport, the government has hired a US architect to design a new mega-terminal serving domestic and international passengers, with construction costing more than NT$55.3 billion, he said.
Construction would start within two years, he said, adding that the terminal would be able to accommodate 16.5 million passengers per year when completed.
“We hope that the renovations of the international airports in Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung and Kaohsiung will help elevate service quality for international passengers,” he said.
The International Civil Aviation Organization would not be able to fulfill its ideal of a “seamless sky” if Taiwan is excluded in the global aviation network, Lin added.
CAA statistics showed that the nation’s 16 airports served 72 million passengers last year.
At present, 96 domestic and international airlines offer services in Taiwan, providing flights to 150 countries around the world.
Last year, the nation also began using the new air control tower at Taoyuan airport, and finished revamping the aircraft-parking tarmac at Taichung airport, as well as the runways at Kaohsiung airport.
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