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Old July 20th, 2004, 10:18 PM   #1
hkskyline
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Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport Redevelopment

Activists land support
Paris Lord, HK Standard


http://www.epd.gov.hk/eia/operation/english/chapter05_3.html

An international aviation organisation has "fully endorsed'' a campaign in the SAR to preserve part of the unused Kai Tak runway for general aviation and training future pilots.

The Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the 99-year-old world air sports federation based in Switzerland, wrote to the activists last week saying it supported their efforts.

The activists want to preserve 1,500 metres of the runway for recreational aircraft and redevelop its surroundings into tourist attractions with promenades and a giant Ferris wheel like the London Eye.

Since the airport moved to Chek Lap Kok in June 1998, the old runway has become home to a golf driving range, dozens of KMB buses and thousands of tonnes of sand.

It is "perhaps not well enough appreciated by the Hong Kong authorities what a legendary place Kai Tak occupies in the minds of people throughout the world aviation community'', federation secretary-general Max Bishop wrote.

Pilots of every nation knew of the Lion Rock approach even if they had not visited Hong Kong before the airport closed, he said.

But more important was the "green space'' the former airport offered, giving the territory's residents a "breathing space'' and supporting wildlife.

"A flourishing general aviation sector is vital to a community such as Hong Kong,'' Bishop said.

"Sporting confirmed aviation provides challenging and constructive educational opportunities to young people. And general aviation is the nursery of future professionals.''

It would be a "grave error'' if the government removed all opportunities for young people to learn how to fly.

SAR aviators now fly at the People's Liberation Army airstrip at Shek Kong. However, this is often closed at short notice, frustrating the flyers.

The Hong Kong Aviation Club remains in the Kai Tak grounds, but the government wants the land for redevelopment. Moving the clubhouse to the runway tip would help both parties.

Bishop said the federation believed redeveloping the tip of the runway would make money, create jobs and promote the territory's economic development.

"Hong Kong without an aviation training and general aviation industry could no longer aspire to the status of an international metropolis and tourist hub,'' he said.

Save Kai Tak campaign chairman Francis Chin, who has lobbied for more than a year to preserve the runway, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. However, in an e-mail containing the letter from the FAI last week, Chin said the reply was "very encouraging''.

A Civil Aviation Department spokeswoman said: "The future development of the former Kai Tak Airport falls under the purview of the planning authorities. The department will provide comments on technical and flight safety issues to the government when required.''

Kai Tak is part of the South East Kowloon district awaiting redevelopment. In 2001, the government proposed housing 260,000 people within the district, which also included a cruise terminal and Olympic size stadium. But the plans included reclaiming 133 hectares around the old runway.

After the Court of Final Appeal ruled in January that any future reclamation within the harbour had to meet an "overriding public needs test'', the government sent the plans back for review. The Planning Department announced on Tuesday that the City Planning-Maunsell joint venture had won a HK$6.9 million 16 month contract to review the plan, which now includes a "no or minimum reclamation'' condition.

A Planning Department spokesman said officials from the department had met the Kai Tak campaigners several times and they were welcome to present their suggestions to the consultants. Public consultation on development of the district will begin in late August or early September.

21 July 2004 / 02:55 AM
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Old July 21st, 2004, 10:03 AM   #2
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They should just develop that area whether its office or residential and offer a park. Using it for training pilots is a waste of land. Theres tons of other airports out there where you can train pilots, and nowadays theres virtual cockpit.
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Old July 21st, 2004, 10:17 AM   #3
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^ I agree, Old Hong Kong airport is too expansive for pilots training camp....lol, I don't think the Hong Kong Aviation Club can even pay for the land tax of the runway.
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Old July 21st, 2004, 12:47 PM   #4
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That's valuable land that can be used for several 1500+ foot supertall skyscrapes. They should cover it with residental and commercial development. If you want to see green in Hong Kong you can head to the hills.

Building very tall skyscrapers would be the most efficient use of the land. I don't think I'd want pilots "learning" to fly in the heart of Hong Kong. Better chance they'll mess up and land into a building. They should develop the Kai Tak land with a project bigger and taller than Union Square in Kowloon.
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Old July 21st, 2004, 04:36 PM   #5
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Government Press Release :
Reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council


Following is a question by the Hon Wong Sing-chi and a written reply by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, in the Legislative Council today (June 9, 2004):

Question:
Regarding the development plan for the former Kai Tak Airport site, will the Government inform this Council of:

(a) the details of the plan, including the planning restrictions to be imposed, such as the restrictions on building height and development density, as well as the maximum area of land for development and the maximum floor area permitted; and

(b) the total cost of the development plan?

Reply:

President,

My answers to the two parts of the above question are as follows:

(a) The South East Kowloon Development ("SEKD") includes the former Kai Tak Airport site and is covered by the approved Kai Tak (North) and Kai Tak (South) Outline Zoning Plans ("OZP"). The maximum building heights specified in these two OZPs vary from 13 to 205 metres above Principal Datum. With regard to the development density, the domestic plot ratios range from 3 to 7.5 and non-domestic plot ratios range from 0.5 to 12. The maximum permitted gross floor area is 7.98 million square metres.

According to the above two OZPs, the original maximum area of land for development in SEKD is about 457 hectares, of which 133 hectares will be reclaimed land. In view of the "overriding public need test" laid down by the Court of Final Appeal ("CFA") on January 9, 2004 regarding reclamation, the Administration has decided to conduct a comprehensive planning and engineering review on SEKD to ensure full compliance with the CFA judgment. It is expected that when the review is completed, there will be changes to the above planning parameters and restrictions.

(b) The cost of implementing the above two OZPs is originally estimated to be about $26.6 billion. However, as the project is currently under review, the figure will need to be re-assessed.
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Old July 21st, 2004, 11:18 PM   #6
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Why would there be a height limit in that area? Isn't the new airport far enough to do away with height restrictions?
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 12:29 AM   #7
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They should transform part of it into a nice park and the rest into commercial and residential zones. The park will raise the life quality in the district.

And they can use the runway as a highway when they build a bridge at the end.
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 01:02 AM   #8
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Height limit consultations
Staff reporter, HK Standard

The government has begun consultations to obtain views on changing the building height restrictions in Kowloon Bay and Kwun Tung. The height restrictions were imposed because the districts were in the flight path of the former Kai Tak airport, which closed in mid-1998.

The government said yesterday the community wanted to preserve its views to the ridgelines and mountains around the harbour. "In view of considerable development and redevelopment pressures facing the areas, we find it necessary to update the planning framework, including building height control, to guide the transformation,'' a Planning Department spokesman said.

"While preservation of views to ridgelines is one of the primary considerations, local area context has also been taken into account. Our objective is to maintain visually compatible height profiles in the wider setting.''

The height limit proposals will become part of town planning statutes and were recommended in a 2003 study, "Urban Design Guidelines for Hong Kong.'' The two-month consultation includes a public forum on June 26, with submissions due before July 13.

Further details are available from the Planning Department's website, the Kwun Tong district office and the government offices in North Point.

15 May 2004 / 01:42 AM
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 12:05 PM   #9
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Arrgh..They wanna see the views! Who doesn't? HKGov can't please everyone, but they gotta develop that area and remove the height restrictions.
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 04:36 PM   #10
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A major influence on the height restriction follows complaints that huge skyscrapers that have popped up in the area after Kai Tak closed were inappropriately placed. For example, Harbourfront Landmark was a monster right by the water. The government didn't want a building spree to cover up the ridges behind Kowloon. Lion Rock is a major focal point and planners wanted to keep it visible.

On the other hand, several skyscrapers have already popped up in the area behind the Kai Tak site. Also, considering that Kai Tak is not a very desirable site for upper class housing, since it is surrounded by the older neighbors of the Kowloon City slum and the industrial area in Kwun Tong, it is unlikely that developers will be rushing in to build 70-storey residential highrises like in West Kowloon. Rather, it seems the bulk of the project will be public housing apartments, which typically rise about 40 stories. There is still a lot of uncertainty about the project, but the government has emphasized the development will revolve around a 'green city' theme - roads will be buried underground and pedestrian activity will be emphasized.

Here is a statement from the Town Planning Board :



A stepped height profile with developments ascending from the edges of the Victoria Harbour towards the hinterland to protect the views to the Kowloon ridgelines from key vantage points on Hong Kong Island and to maximize harbour views.

Building height restrictions are stipulated for most of the sites within the area and are delineated by building height control zones.


More information :
http://www.info.gov.hk/tpb/harbour/en/kaitaknorth_e.htm
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Old July 22nd, 2004, 10:11 PM   #11
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Notice in this graphic published in the Hong Kong 2001 yearbook that there is a huge park near the top. That is the Lion Rock viewing corridor. The residential developments around it will house about 250,000 people. The cruise terminal at the edge of the runway might be moved to another location. There have been conflicting bids for a new terminal on both sides of the harbour for the past few years.
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Old July 23rd, 2004, 12:28 PM   #12
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Built those new residential bldgs and demolish the old ones behind Kaitak and offer them a new place to stay, a better one of course.
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Old July 24th, 2004, 06:09 PM   #13
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There is some redevelopment in Kwun Tong, which sits behind the Kai Tak site. It is an old industrial area and some skyscrapers have popped up, such as Enterprise 3.
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Old July 25th, 2004, 09:27 AM   #14
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sad to see that jewel of aviation dissapear, but what makes me more even sad, is that i missed a landing on kai tak myself...
...well i'll have to conform with my grandpa's tales about going to hong kong in the early 90s
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Old July 25th, 2004, 11:51 AM   #15
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yeah, its sad indeed. I'd remember as a kid when I'd be landing in kai tak, I'd be looking out the window and see nothing but water, even though I can feel the landing gears touch the ground...

but chek lap kok is a much prettier airport to transit in.
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Old July 25th, 2004, 04:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
=hkskyline
Notice in this graphic published in the Hong Kong 2001 yearbook that there is a huge park near the top. That is the Lion Rock viewing corridor. The residential developments around it will house about 250,000 people. The cruise terminal at the edge of the runway might be moved to another location. There have been conflicting bids for a new terminal on both sides of the harbour for the past few years.
There will also apparently be reference to the spits original usage. Look at the bottom right and you can see some aircraft parked (at an aviation museum maybe?) at what was once the end of the runway.
 
Old July 25th, 2004, 07:30 PM   #17
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More Information :
South East Kowloon Development
Comprehensive Planning and Engineering Review
Stage 1 : Planning Review [Feasibility Study]
http://www.info.gov.hk/planning/p_st...ev/index_e.htm
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Old July 27th, 2004, 04:01 PM   #18
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I miss Kai Tak. Wish they'd preserve something from it, perhaps the old Passenger Terminal Building
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Old July 27th, 2004, 11:49 PM   #19
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I'd rather go through with the town plan rather than the pilot training.
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Old July 27th, 2004, 11:50 PM   #20
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The area around the airport, Kowloon, should be redeveloped too.
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