Fri, Jan 16, 2009 - Page 4 News List

MOTC confirms Taoyuan airport will expand zone

IN THE ZONE As the Taoyuan International airport zone will be managed by a state-run company, the CAA drafted a bill to establish a state-run airport company

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The core of the Taoyuan Airport Zone will consist of the current airport properties as well as private land nearby to expand the main infrastructure to 2,528 hectares, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said yesterday.

The legislature approved the statute governing the development of the airport zone on Monday.

The MOTC was the administrative department assigned to execute the policy.

Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director-General Lee Lung-wen (李龍文) said airport properties, including airport facilities and the free-trade zone, covered about 1,250 hectares.

The government is planning to add more land to the facilities by swapping plots with neighboring land owners and asked the navy to relocate its airport from Taoyuan.

Lee confirmed that the 2,528-hectare airport zone would be the “eggyolk” that MOTC minister Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) described earlier, when Mao visualized how a well-performing airport zone would stimulate economic growth in nearby towns.

Individuals owning land inside the designated airport zone will receive compensation from the government to relocate outside the zone, Lee said.

Lee said that there were already renovation plans for the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. Since it will now be expanded into a large airport zone, a more detailed development plan is needed, he said.

Based on the timeline set by the CAA, the development plan is scheduled to be completed by January next year and approved by the Executive Yuan by June.

Meanwhile, as the airport zone will be managed by a state-run company, the CAA has drafted a statute to govern the establishment of a state-run airport company.

The statute will be submitted to the Legislative Yuan for further deliberation.

The CAA will also enlist the services of a consulting firm to help design the airport zone, Lee said.

Even though the airport zone will not be complete for at least another few years, the CAA could start expanding the network of international flights by motivating overseas airlines to set up branches in Taiwan as well as other business sectors to establish operations in the airport free-trade zone.

While the statue would not prevent any county from developing it airport zone, Lee said an airport zone could work only if the airport itself has a dense network of flights and a considerable passenger and cargo traffic.

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