Tue, Nov 13, 2007 - Page 2 News List

CAA answers height limit questions

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Facing questions from the media and aviation experts, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) reiterated yesterday that easing restrictions on height limits of buildings located near Taipei's Songshan Airport will not create any concern for flight safety.

"The zone where the restrictions could be eased is south of the airport and is not the side from where the planes will approach and land," CAA Director-General Billy Chang (張國政) said. "So the policy change will not affect the operations of planes within this area."

Chang also said that the administration began to assess the possibility of easing the restrictions at the request of the Cabinet last year, adding that the CAA was required by the Government Procurement Act (採購法) to allow private consulting firms to bid for the evaluation project.

Chang said three consulting firms came in for the bid and Mott MacDonald Group from Britain was eventually selected.

Chang said that the evaluation only led to two proposals. He said the first proposal suggested that the height limit for buildings within 3km of the runway could be raised from 60m to 90m. The second proposal, however, advised that the height limits remain unchanged 2km from the runways. However, buildings constructed between 2km and 3km from the runways would be allowed to cap their heights at 110m.

Chang further said that both proposals had been presented to the Executive Yuan, which later decided to opt for the first proposal.

The first proposal, Chang said, was perceived to generate more benefits than the second one.

Chang also attempted to dismiss other concerns.

In response to claims that higher buildings would obstruct the operation of helicopters Chang said that helicopters are not allowed to fly at altitudes lower than 305m, meaning there was no problem.

Another concern was that the buildings may block the transmission of radio-waves, but Chang said this has not yet proven to be a problem.

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