Asia Noise News

Hong Kong, construction noise, fines !

Hong Kong (HKSAR) –      The main contractor and sub-contractors of the construction works at Queen Elizabeth Hospital caused noise nuisance by conducting works during holidays. They were convicted and fined a total of $60,000 at Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Courts today (October 26) for contravening the Noise Control Ordinance (NCO).

A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said that the department received a public complaint this April against construction works being carried out during holidays at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Yau Ma Tei. EPD staff hence conducted a surprise check at a construction site in the hospital on a Sunday, and found a worker carrying out construction works using an electric grinder.

The emitted noise affected hospital users as the construction site was only 20 metres away from Block D of the hospital. In addition, the contractor and its sub-contractors did not possess a valid Construction Noise Permit (CNP). The EPD subsequently initiated prosecutions against the main contractor and its sub-contractors of the construction works under the NCO upon completion of evidence collection.

According to the NCO, anyone who uses powered mechanical equipment for construction works or carries out prescribed construction works (such as handling debris or hammering) in a designated area during restricted hours (between 7pm and 7am the next day on weekdays or any time on a public holiday) shall apply for a CNP.

The construction works shall commence only when the CNP has been granted upon completion of assessment to support that its noise level would comply with regulatory requirements. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $100,000. A maximum fine of $200,000 may be imposed on second or subsequent convictions.

hong kong construction noise fines
hong kong construction noise fines

The spokesman reminded members of the construction sector that they should manage and arrange their works properly.

They should neither use powered mechanical equipment nor carry out prescribed construction works in a designated area during restricted hours. Even with a valid CNP, they should carry out works in strict accordance with the permit, and should also adopt practicable noise mitigation measures, including the erection of fences and noise barriers at the sites, to reduce the impact of noise on the public nearby as far as practicable.

Asia Noise News

Quiet planes get more slots at Hong Kong airport, a way to curb noise pollution

Trial scheme focuses on non-environmentally friendly and noisy planes – instead of just restricting flights at night

Airlines in Hong Kong are being encouraged to use cleaner and quieter aircraft in return for the chance to operate more flights at night.

A trial is under way for airlines flying out of Hong Kong International Airport to phase out older planes, as such flights contribute to noise pollution – a serious issue at night for nearby residents.

As an incentive, compliance will be rewarded with opportunities to operate more late evening, overnight and early morning flights. The scheme looks to focus on the cause of pollution problems rather than restricting aircraft movements, aviation authorities say.

The trial has already been in effect since March, and is expected to see benefits towards the end of the year if the plan continues on a full-time basis.

“The overarching objective of the quota count scheme is to encourage airlines to use more environmentally friendly aircraft at Hong Kong’s airport,” a spokeswoman for the Civil Aviation Department said.

Under the system, the noisier an aircraft the more points each flight accumulates. By switching to quieter planes fewer points are racked up.

Points go into a pool shared by all airlines, meaning they work together to minimise them and then each shares an equal chance of obtaining new night flight slots.

The scheme was inspired by an identical initiative in Britain.

Amid soaring demand and a lack of space for new daytime flights, the airport is shifting focus to night operations, with dozens of take-off and landing slots to be made available in coming years.

Hong Kong’s biggest airline, Cathay Pacific Airways, has moved to phase out older aircraft or swap noisier planes with the quieter and more fuel-efficient Airbus A350 on routes such as those to Auckland, Melbourne and Dusseldorf.

Hong Kong airport noise pollution
Hong Kong airport noise pollutions