Thu, Apr 17, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Officials vow to complete the Taoyuan Aerotropolis

MA’S ‘GOLDEN DECADE’:The project would require expropriating 3,126 hectares of land, the nation’s largest-ever expropriation, with about 25,000 people relocated

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Government officials yesterday vowed to complete the Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project, saying it would be a key project affecting the economic development of the nation in the next generation.

The project is a large development surrounding the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director-General Jean Shen (沈啟) told a forum hosted by the Institute of Transportation that the project was one of the flagship programs outlined by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in his “vision of a golden decade.”

The project involves the development of 4,771 hectares, she said.

“For the project, the government still needs to expropriate 3,126 hectares of land, which would account for 40 percent of the total land expropriated across the nation in the past 40 years,” Shen said. “The importance of such a project does not lie only in the massive capital it requires, but it is also one of the key projects that will help Taiwan face the global competition in the next generation. It is not just about building a new terminal, a new runway or other infrastructure. The project would require a comprehensive plan on the industrial development, as well as residential zones.”

Taoyuan County Commissioner John Wu (吳志揚) said that Taiwan’s minimum wage has remained unchanged for years because the nation has not taken advantage of its geographical advantages to upgrade its industries.

“We should not be embarrassed to admit that Taiwan is in the nucleus of Asia. From here, one can get to major cities in Asia in the shortest time, compared with other countries,” Wu said. “We should use this geographical advantage to develop international logistics services, through which we can help change the tide for the 22K generation [people with a monthly wage of NT$22,000]. It is essentially contradictory if one is against 22K, but opposes free trade at the same time.”

Wu said that the county estimated that 8,000 households and 25,000 people would need to be relocated to make way for the project, which would be the nation’s largest land expropriation.

He said that the county would start moving people only after their new homes are built.

Even though the plan is called Taoyuan Aerotropolis Project, Wu said that the project not only concerns people in Taoyuan County, but throughout the country.

Huang Ming-kai (黃明塏), deputy director of the urban and rural development branch under the Ministry of the Interior, said that the country must complete the project.

“We are absolutely confident that we can accomplish this mission impossible,” Huang said.

Huang said that it has taken the nation 30 years to develop the project, adding that the site for the the third runway has been chosen and the high-speed rail constructed.

The nation is also about to launch the Airport Rail, he said.

He said that the project needs to undergo an environmental impact review, as well as other reviews.

Through the cooperation of CAA and other government agencies, the branch has been trying to present the information to the members serving at these review committees and convince them of the necessity of the project, he said.

The branch has sent officials to gather feedback from the public.

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