Monday, May 12, 2008

Not again.

Update: Check out Ria's wildfilms blog, which illustrates the difficulties of implementing such a proposal. I like this part:

Indeed I wonder about the writer's seeming obsession with 'doing something' with the shores and water around Changi? These areas are NOT 'unused' or 'underutilised'. They are in fact used for critical elements of Singapore's national and economic needs.

The writer's continuing disregard for basic realities of the area is also rather puzzling. Particularly since these have been highlighted earlier.

Guess who has yet another letter published in the Straits Times Forum today...

Make Changi 4th runway float on the sea (mirror)

THREE years ago, many Singaporeans doubted a floating platform the size of a football field could ever be built and be safe to use. Three years later and thanks to Ministry of Defence approval, we have shown the world with the spectacular 2007 National Day Parade on the Marina Bay floating stadium, anything can be done when we put our hearts and minds to it.

It is time for us to take our industrial shipbuilding expertise on floating platforms and take it to a higher level. We should build the world's first 5km by 0.2km floating platform as the fourth runway at Changi Airport. The floating platform can be attached to the mainland and extend it out to sea.

A normal airport occupies a huge amount of land resource, but as one can see most of Changi Airport comprises grass fields. The terminal buildings, taxiways and runway occupy less than 40 per cent of the total land area. In land-scarce Singapore, we must find ingenious ways to use all our land resource to the fullest.

For Singapore to become the major aviation hub in Asia and South-east Asia, we need a massive amount of land to cater to the industry's growing needs. The Changi cargo and aircraft maintenance area is bursting at the seams. A limited land resource will seriously hinder our growth and potential. If we can push the fourth runway out to sea, we can also convert the first and second runways to sea-based form and free up land for other uses.

Many would have deemed this idea impossible. But the old Kai Tak Airport in Hong Kong used a single 3km runway that stretched out to sea. The United States has operated one of the largest aircraft carriers in the world for decades now, and the landing strip is less than 200m long and 60m wide. The largest super tanker in the world is more than 400m by 70m and these floating giants are made safer and stronger than is generally known. Figures will show that floating runways will be cheaper than using reclaimed land.

Syu Ying Kwok

I have too many matters to attend to, and I'm seriously not going to bother responding to this one.