Summary Environmental Impact Assessment For Pasir Puteh Airport Construction Essay

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1. The purpose of this Summary Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) report is to investigate and assess the principal environmental concerns associated with the proposed Pasir Puteh Airport. The scope of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study covers both the construction phase of Pasir Puteh Airport, investigating and analyzing

(i) The effects of aircraft noise on institutional/residential areas, particularly at night;

(ii) Increased traffic congestion in the airport approaches;

(iii) increased risk from aircraft accidents in populated areas along the flight path;

(iv) Fire hazards;

(v) Ambient air quality;

(vi) Surface water quality;

(vii) Hydrogeology;

(viii) Impact on flora and fauna;

(ix) Social perception; and

(x) Emergency preparedness.

B. Description of the Project

2. The Project consists of the design, financing, construction, and operation of a new international airport passenger terminal officially called Pasir Puteh Airport. The proposed new terminal will support the existing airport in Kota Bharu, Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Pengkalan Chepa, whose maximum capacity of 1,400,000 passengers per year. The new airport could be the new solution for population in Pasir Puteh, Machang, Bachok, Kuala Krai, Jerteh and Tanah Merah to travel. This project also can decrease the congestion in Kota Bharu, especially during fiesta season. The Malaysia Government has decided that Pasir Puteh Airport will be located on an approximately 22,000 km3 site within Pasir Puteh, Kelantan which is under the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS). Pasir Puteh Airport will be designed to handle a maximum of 2,500,000 passengers annually.

C. Description of the Environment

1. Physical Resources

A. The town of Pasir Puteh is situated on the bank of Semerak River, about 30 kilometres to the south of Kota Bharu. The soil at the project site is lowlands. Pasir Puteh is generally affected by floods each year.

B. Similar to Hong Kong, the air quality in Malaysia is reported as the API or Air Pollution Index. Four of the index's pollutant components (i.e., carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulphur dioxide) are reported in ppmv but PM10 particulate matter is reported in μg/m3. This scale below shows the Health classifications used by the Malaysian government.

  0-50  Good

 51-100 Moderate

101-200 Unhealthy

201-300 Very unhealthy

301- Hazardous

If the API exceeds 500, a state of emergency is declared in the reporting area. Usually, this means that non-essential government services are suspended, and all ports in the affected area are closed. There may also be a prohibition on private sector commercial and industrial activities in the reporting area excluding the food sector. An ambient air quality survey conducted at the project site showed an API level above 100.

Pasir Puteh, Kelantan enjoys a pleasant tropical climate. It is almost summer all year round with refreshing intermittent rain. Longer and heavier rainfall is observed in November, December and January. Daily temperature ranges from 21°C to 32°C. 

C. The main river is the Semerak River.

2. Ecological Resources

There are no fishponds, nor is there active fishing in the vicinity of the Project site. The only conspicuous forms of wildlife are birds. There are forests near the Project site and endangered species of flora or fauna.

3. Human and Economic Development

A. Population in Pasir Puteh is about 130,700 (2009). The percentage of school-age population enrolment was more than 50 percent. The dominant economic activity in Pasir Puteh is agriculture.

B. The water supply of Pasir Puteh comes from Semerak and Kelantan River, managed by Tenaga Air Kelantan. However, only 50 percent of the population have water supply. Electric power is supplied by the Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB).

4. Quality of Life

A. Housing

There are an estimated most of people in this area, stay in villages. Only 20% of total population was estimated stays in housing area, in town centre.

B. Education

Pasir Puteh has 11 public secondary schools, 21 public primary schools.

D. Skills and Per Capita Income

Most of the residents were involved in agriculture sector (70 percent), with 29 percent being government servant. Other types of employment include those without any occupation or unemployed comprised 1.0 percent. Approximately 70 percent of households stated an average monthly household income ranging from RM350.00 to RM700.00.

D. Public Health

Pasir Puteh has one government hospital; Tengku Anis Hospital. There are 10 private clinics. The birth rate in Pasir Puteh is above ten percent while the death rate is below ten percent.

E. Recreational Resources and Development

The major recreational facilities in Pasir Puteh are the Pantai Bisikan Bayu, also known as "Pantai Dalam Rhu", located in the province of Pasir Puteh, near Semerak, about 50 kilometres from Kota Bharu. Jeram Pasu waterfall, which is the most popular is located in Kampung Padang Pak Amat, about 35 kilometers south of Kota Bharu. Linang waterfalls located in the village Lepan Rambai about 15 kilometers from Bandar Pasir Puteh was also the beautiful place. 

F. Archaeological or Historical Treasures

There are no known archaeological or historical treasures within the Project site

G. Anticipated Environmental Impacts and Mitigation Measures

Environmental impacts are anticipated during both the construction stage and the operational stage.

A. Construction Stage

Earthwork, soil excavation, building construction, and ground preparation are not expected to adversely affect either Semerak or the Kelantan River, since both bodies of water are quite far from the site. The Project's estimated daily water requirement of 990 cubic meters (m3) will not affect the supply of water to the residents of Pasir Puteh.

The air quality within the vicinity is already above the API level. Earthwork, soil excavation, ground preparation, and concreting activities will further increase the API level. However, a comprehensive system of netting to be used as well as constant daily watering of the ground will mitigate the impact.

There will hardly be any fire hazard, since no combustible material will be used, and no fires will be ignited. Solid waste generated by some 500 workers at the site as well as solid waste from construction activities will be disposed of daily by Pasir Puteh garbage trucks. Employment opportunities and other sources of income for the residents of Pasir Puteh will be generated by the project.

B. Operational Stage

No significant increase in the already high level of API of the air quality within the vicinity will be generated during operation. Nevertheless, the terminal building will be fully air-conditioned and equipped with dust a filtration system which that will be regularly checked and cleaned.

The additional aircraft movements will increase the noise level. However, flights are normally scheduled during daytime to minimize noise disruption to settlements relatively near to Pasir Puteh Airport. Using the acceptable noise standard for an airport of 65 Community Noise Equivalent Level (CNEL) (the standard for San Francisco International Airport), it is estimated that, for the years 2009, 2010, and 2025, the CNEL at the proposed project site will be 32. Thus, no breach of acceptable airport noise standards will take place. Further, the flight path of aircraft will not be over densely populated areas.

Pasir Puteh Airport will have its own sewerage treatment plant, which will properly treat effluents in accordance with Malaysia standards before discharging them into the Kelantan River. Solid waste will be sorted, treated, and then disposed of daily by Pasir Puteh town garbage trucks.

The commercial operation of Pasir Puteh Airport may cause a mild migration of potential job seekers to Pasir Puteh, since some 100,000 jobs will be created by the Project. Substantial additional revenues will be contributed by the project to both the local government of Pasir Puteh and the National Government. Over a ten-year period, it is estimated that the Project will add some to the tax collection of Pasir Puteh and National Government.

These facts imply a very slight increased risk from aircraft accidents at the airport. The risk is further reduced if one considers that the aircraft flight patterns are largely over low density settlements or enclaves. The risk will further be minimized through continuing improvements in surveillance facilities and employment of highly trained personnel.

In the operation of the terminal building, building and fire codes will be strictly implemented. Fire extinguishers and hydrants will be installed.

It is significant to note that the Fire Code does not state any specific measures required as safety measures against any fire hazard. However, the Code does state certain specific provisions that must be incorporated in the required fire safety program;

(i) Use of fire protection features such as sprinkler systems, hose boxes, hose reels or standpipe systems, and other fire fighting equipment;

(ii) Fire alarm systems;

(iii) Fire walls;

(iv) Fire-resistant materials for flooring and walls;

(v) Safe passage to a public way or safe dispersal area;

(vi) Fire exits;

(vii) Sealing of stairways, vertical shafts, and horizontal exits from smoke and heat;

(viii) Self-closing fire resistant doors;

(ix) Fire dampers in centralized air-conditioning ducts;

(x) Roof vents; and

(xi) Properly marked and lighted exits.

C. Aesthetic Considerations

Landscaping will be undertaken to enhance the aesthetic value of the area and to enhance the capability to absorb carbon dioxide.

D. Alternatives

If the Pasir Puteh Airport were not constructed there would be no effects, either positive or negative, on physical environmental factors. In addition, no adverse impact would be suffered by the adjoining city institutions. There would be, however, other significant sociological and economic losses to the city.

The loss of this facility would inhibit terminal development and the economic and ensuing sociological gains, and would conflict directly with established, approved master plans and goals. The international passenger congestion would restrict the growth of terminal activities.

If Pasir Puteh Airport were not to be set up at the proposed site, the permanent structures such as the elementary school, the church, the community centre, and residential houses would remain at their present site.

E. Cost-Benefit Analysis

In conducting the cost-benefit analysis of the proposed Pasir Puteh Airport, the Financial Study prepared by Financial Consultants was used.

For the cost item, the estimated total project cost of RM882 million was used. The total Project cost includes the total cost of relocation of population housing, estimated at RM12.25 million; the cost of the Fire Prevention Plan; the cost of sewerage and drainage systems, estimated at RM3.5 million; and such other costs as provision of a car park building (RM36.75 million) and road access improvements. In terms of the benefit, the stream of cash flow after debt servicing but before tax payments (because tax payments are considered as one of the benefits) was used. The internal rate of return and net present value are calculated as 21 percent and $886.76 million, respectively.

The direct negative sociological impacts of the Pasir Puteh will relate primarily to Gaal Village. There will be a significant displacement of or change in neighbourhood composition. The residents will also lose facilities such as:

(i) Rubber Plantation

(ii) Paddy

These facilities will also be temporarily subjected to nuisances associated with major construction, including increased noise levels, dust, heavier traffic on Jalan Nara, and other similar effects. On a permanent basis, the traffic and noise from terminal activities will cause some disturbances. The disturbances will depend on the arrival and departure of various types of aircraft.

There will be some direct costs related to the relocation of affected residences and facilities. However, the Project will result in several beneficial impacts on both a temporary and a permanent basis.

Construction will require approximately 500 labourers of varying trade and skill levels. The foreign exchange inflow of RM612.5 million will improve the foreign exchange reserves of the country. About 70 percent of the labour would require no specific skills or training, which could have some positive impact on welfare and unemployment.

49. It is estimated that the facility will spend about RM52 million per year on direct purchases. This amount will help the production and sales of many local industries such as food, steel, wood, furnishings, and other construction materials. Based on the RM52 million spent each year, the total direct and indirect contributions of the facility to the Malaysia economy will be about RM21 million per year. It is envisaged that at least RM70 million will be generated from tourism-related activities due to the project.

The terminal will generate revenues for Pasir Puteh. These funds will not only compensate for construction costs, but will act as long-term source of revenue.

Conclusions

Implementation of the proposed Pasir Puteh Airport Project will provide the country a facility that could adequately accommodate 2,500,000 passengers annually and is expected to increase the tourism potential of the country. Employment opportunities that will be generated from the proposed Project are estimated to be 1,500 persons (direct labour, 500; indirect labour, 1000) during construction and 12,500 persons (direct labour, 2,500; indirect labour, 10,000) during operation.

Incremental foreign exchange will start with the initial inflow of the loan. During commercial operation of the project, additional foreign exchange inflows will come from arriving passengers, who would spend a million at an average expenditure per arriving passenger.

The Malaysia Government is guaranteed to earn a million from the operation of the proposed Pasir Puteh Airport project. It is envisaged that the project will pay an annual income tax, while income tax to be paid by the employment opportunities created.

The proposed Pasir Puteh Airport project will definitely be to public advantage. The major benefit will be socioeconomic. The primary long-range effects on the physical environment include the relocation of several houses on Gaal Village. In addition, the residents of Gaal Village will be subjected to both temporary and permanent increases in noise level, which, however, in terms of level, time of occurrence, and distribution will not cause a major impact. The construction of the proposed project will assure optimum use of a section of unused land owned. Although it will result in a few limited temporary environmental adverse effects, the life expectancy of the terminal's productivity will prove profitable to society on both a regional and local basis.

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