The construction of Terminal 3 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport would not be finished until 2024 if construction starts next year, Taiwan International Airport Co (TIAC) said yesterday at a meeting of the legislature’s Transportation Committee, which was reviewing the company’s budget for the next fiscal year.
Although the company chose a design by British firm Roger Stirk Harbour + Partners in 2015 and began constructing the peripheral infrastructure of the terminal in 2017, it failed last year and this year to attract firms to construct the main building, despite the government increasing the budget and time frame, as well as slightly adjusting the design.
The Executive Yuan at the beginning of this year postponed the projected completion of Terminal 3 from 2020 to 2023, with trial operations to begin in 2024.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
TIAC has proposed first building a north satellite concourse to expedite the construction process, but that is still under consideration by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, which is engaging in a more comprehensive evaluation of the project.
TIAC chairman Wang Ming-de (王明德) said that previously the company had failed to control the budget for Terminal 3, which is the main reason no contractors had bid for the project, while many of the nation’s large construction firms already have their hands full with projects that are part of the government’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, and are reluctant to undertake risky projects with a small profit margin, he said.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said that the company has clearly overestimated its ability to handle the construction of the terminal.
“You opened the project to bids from international contractors, which produced a great design. However, no one is bidding for the contract to build the terminal, which has forced you to postpone the construction again and again, and then change the design,” Yeh said.
Changing the design of the terminal is disrespectful to the architects, she said, adding that what happened with Terminal 3 is a textbook example of what is wrong when you underestimate the construction difficulties involved.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jennifer Tung (童惠珍) said that the airport is the nation’s main gateway and would showcase its competitive edge in the next 20 to 30 years.
The airport would be a laughing stock of the international community if TIAC changes the design of Terminal 3, she said.
Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said that the ministry is aiming to finalize the changes to the design by February, provided that they do not compromise the architects’ original vision.
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