Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) Director-General Lin Kuo-hsien (林國顯) would also temporarily serve as Taoyuan International Airport Corp’s (TIAC) chairman after the incumbent chairman, Wang Ming-de (王明德), retires next month, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday.
The appointment still needs to be approved by the state-run company’s board of directors, who are to convene a meeting on Thursday next week.
As the company is owned by the ministry, the board is expected to unanimously approve the nomination.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
While the ministry has said that Wang is stepping down because he has reached the mandatory retirement age of 65, local media have reported that the real reason was the ministry’s and the Executive Yuan’s dissatisfaction with his handling of the airport’s Terminal 3 project.
Despite its impressive design, the project has yet to attract any tenders due to the high cost of construction.
While TIAC had submitted a revised design, which includes eliminating about 800 glass windows in the ceiling, the new design would still cause the project’s budget to surge by NT$16 billion (US$530.65 million).
Moreover, the construction of the terminal would not be finished until 2024, which is one year after the deadline set by the government, the reports said.
Not only did Wang fail to resolve problems with the project, he also failed to offer convincing reasons to justify the budget increase, the reports said.
Lin Kuo-hsien was said to have been chosen to temporarily take over the operation of the airport company, as he has gained the trust of the transportation minister with his handling of the strikes by China Airlines pilots and EVA Airways flight attendants last year, as well as Far Eastern Air Transport’s sudden suspension of flight services and the COVID-19 outbreak, they said.
Wang said in an interview with the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper) yesterday that he had reached the mandatory retirement age and leaving now was the right thing to do, adding that he felt relieved.
“However, the challenges with the Terminal 3 project would still be there after I leave. The airport company would still be troubled by problems with the project, which entails many complicated interfacing issues,” he said. “Resolving these issues requires a lot of patience and extensive experience in civil engineering.”
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