An incoming plane over the Boundary Control Facilities Island – new Community Isolation Facility cabins are directly under the take-off flight path (photo: Xinhua)

Aviation experts have warned of “intolerable” aircraft noise at a new Community Isolation Facility built directly under the path of departing jets at Chek Lap Kok.

The noise issue came to light as Chief Secretary John Lee inspected the 1,200-bed facility over the weekend, with reporters often struggling to hear Lee’s speech for the roar of departing jets.

One expert, who preferred not be quoted by name, said on social media the environment in the Boundary Crossing Facilities Island site could be “quite intolerable” and “noisy AF”.

And another aviation enthusiast, who also preferred not to be named, said planes would shoot over the medical facility at an average of just 800-1200 feet. At this altitude, according to Indiana’s Purdue University, the noise from jets could be around 100 dB, which, while just below the human pain threshold, could cause “serious damage with eight hours of exposure.”

“That’s going to be very noisy,” said the source. “Lots of cargo aircraft are big and heavy and no great climbers,” they said.

Cabins at the facility will be shared by up to three Covid patients for up to 14 days

Around 300-500 planes a day are still taking off from Hong Kong International Airport, the majority being cargo planes. And around 50-60 of those are taking off through the night, sources estimate.

Studies show lack of sleep can hinder immune response and disease recovery.

Development Bureau and Environmental Protection Department have not responded to questions on the noise issue.

The government has already been criticsed for abandoning “relevant laws” in its building of the nine Community Isolation Facilities under Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s “wartime environment”, with Emergency Powers sidestepping planning applications and environmental impact assessments.

Meanwhile Transit Jam has learned the 150 hectare artificial island where the new facility is  built does not even appear on Civil Aviation Department flight path maps. According to flight path diagrams, the whole Boundary Crossing Facility does not exist, despite being commissioned in October 2018. Civil Aviation Department has not responded to questions on the outdated flight path maps.

Leave a Reply