Sun, Mar 01, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan turns to global expertise for aerotropolis project

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Taiwan is inviting international experts to take part in planning a proposed Taoyuan aerotropolis to ensure that it meets world-class standards, Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director-General Lee Long-wen (李龍文) said yesterday.

A bidders conference scheduled for March 17 in Taiwan will be open not only to local consulting firms, but also to those from Canada, the US, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Japan and Singapore, Lee said.

Lee said the Taoyuan aerotropolis project was the first of its kind in Taiwan and that the government should not conjure it up “out of pure imagination,” but should instead heed the opinions of domestic and foreign experts.

The consulting firm that wins the bid would be responsible for helping the government collect information on the success and failure of similar projects in other countries, analyze industrial and transportation development strategies and predict the future air traffic volume at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Lee said.

The firm will also need to submit a proposal on the allocation of airport resources, the use of surrounding land and the development of peripheral transportation networks, he said.

The plan to develop the surrounding areas of the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport into an aviation city is one of the “i-Taiwan 12 Projects,” a centerpiece of the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). The project would involve the expansion of airport terminals and the establishment of an aerospace industrial park and special zones for cargo, passenger and logistics services.

The bidding for the aerotropolis blueprint is expected to completed by the end of next month, with the successful bidder required to submit its final report by the end of next January. The Cabinet is scheduled to complete its review of the report by June next year, the CAA said.

The i-Taiwan projects was billed as one of Ma’s major economic platforms, which proposes to pour NT$2.65 trillion (US$81 billion) in government investment over the next eight years into boosting the economy by expanding domestic demand.

The projects include building and linking rapid transit networks in cities and counties across the country, turning Kaohsiung into a tariff-free port and eco-park, and turning Taichung into an Asia-Pacific maritime and air logistics center. The proposal earmarks NT$130 billion for projects in Taipei City, while Taichung City would receive NT$200 billion and Taoyuan County NT$220 billion.

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