Enviromental Impact Assessment Of New Kuantan International Airport Engineering Essay

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This environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been prepared by Gemilang Alam Sekitar (M) Sdn. Bhd. as appointed consultant by the Government to evaluate a complete environmental impact assessment on New Kuantan International Airport (KIA) in Kuantan, Pahang. This report is prepared for the authorities review, accounting Malaysia Government guidelines and regulation under Environmental Quality Act 1974 - Act 127. This report has been produced firmly based on:

Environment Impact Assessment (EIA)

Field visits to the Project site, and,

Few discussions with State government and related Federal government officials with environmental responsibilities.

To carry out EIA process, some methods are used including;

Meetings and discussions with Federal and State government officials,

Visit to the Project site and surrounding areas,

Discussions with citizens near the Project site,

Surround noise, air quality and surface water quality,

Sampling and testing the sample taken in the field and in the laboratory, and,

Gathering the methods with professional's knowledge, expertise and experiences.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

The rapid economic development and tourism industry in Kuantan, Pahang has resulted in a growing demand for air transportation. The capital city of Pahang, Kuantan occupied with more than a half million of citizens, approximately 607,778 people. This 9th largest city in Malaysia has 57% Malays, 32% Chinese, 4% Indian and 7% other races. Kuantan is currently served by air mainly by Sultan Ahmad Shah Airport but it is more on military purposes. Public passenger and cargo loading are no more available. The nearest airport for public air transportation can be accessed from Sultan Mahmud Airport in Kuala Terengganu, about 207km or 4 hours journey on road. A small airport in Kerteh which called Kerteh Airport is located 115km from Kuantan city centre and it takes almost two hours to reach the small airport. Kerteh Airport operations are restricted to oil-rig labours whose working for anchor national petroleum company, PETRONAS.

This proposed Project is to design and construct a new international airport for Kuantan in order to re-operate the public passenger and cargo air transportation in the city, thus rejuvenate and induce the tourism industry into higher level. Site location studies were conducted in 2005 by appointed consultant, Megah Hijau (M) Sdn. Bhd. and the subject to run the EIA process was identified. In 2007, about 250 hectares (ha) of land was purchased by Federal Government of Malaysia to construct the KIA. Based on Megah Hijau's study, site clearing was completed in 2008 by local contractor within 6 months. The clearing process was under contract with the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia.

The KIA development phase at first will meet the forecasting air traffic demand for the year 2010. This will engage large turboprop aircraft with relevant range to cover numerous destinations locally and internationally. The development process takes in the improvement of soil and earthworks preliminarily to construct a runaway with 4000m length and 50m width. The Project also will embrace the construction of:

Passenger and cargo terminal

Access road and car park

Control tower

Rescue building

Airport staff residences

Waste water management system

Electricity generator unit and Fuel farm

Airport navigational aid and safety equipments

ENVIRONMENT DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT SITE

Physical Resources and Environment

Project Location

The Project location is in flat areas with small hills, which typically the topography of Kuantan located near to the Titiwangsa range. Elevation on the project site is range between 20 and 53m above the mean sea level. The soil of the Project site consists of muddy clay with less organic material. The condition of the soil sufficiently fit the requirements of constructing the embankment. The embankment is used to flat the terrain areas. Luckily, the Project site is free from earthquake and soil erosion hazard.

The climate at the Project site is warm and wet, typical with the climate of Peninsular Malaysia which located proximity to the equator. Rain falls throughout the year, with heavy rain normally in November to March due to northeast monsoon.

The average monthly rainfall in Kuantan is 250 mm. Meanwhile, the monthly temperature during the day is between 29°C - 35°C, and 26°C - 29°C at night. Kuantan average monthly wind velocity is 4km/hour directed to the Southwest, hence there is no typhoon recorded so far.

The EIA performed the monitoring test for the air quality and noise in three locations, where two on the Project site and one in the Kuantan city centre. The results are shown in the table below.

Parameter

Unit

Sample Point

1

2

3

Wind direction

From

SW

`SW

SW

Wind speed

m/s

4

3

7

Temperature

°C

31

33

35

Humidity

%

89

91

83

Atmospheric Pressure

cmHg

71

71

71

Suspended Particulate Matter

μg/m3

34

32

36

Oxide Nitrogen (NO2)

μg/m3

5

6

14

Sulphur Dioxide (SO2)

μg/m3

1

1

5

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

ppm

0.101

0.112

0.173

Hydrocarbon

ppm

0.020

0.017

0.031

Noise

dBA

34-41

36-43

45-67

Air Quality Standard is based on Recommended Malaysian Air Quality Guidelines (RMAQG) Department of Environment, Malaysia.

Sample point 1 and 2 are taken from two different spots at the Project site, whereas the 3rd point is located in the Kuantan city centre. We can see the different in the test results at different location. The air quality in each location was better than the recommend national standard. The volume of hydrocarbon and Carbon Monoxide were higher in the city centre compare to the other sample points.

On the Project site and surroundings, there is no river, stream, or lake identified. So, there will be no impact of water pollution in the area. For this reason, the quality of the groundwater undoubted with minimal treatment and can be used to supply water to the Project facilities rather than taking the water directly from nearest river which may considerably higher in cost.

Ecological Resources

The flora and fauna on the Project site are commonly found in most Peninsular forest. So, they are not endangered or protected species. Animals like snakes, wild boars, and typical local birds are the group of animal inhabit in the Project site.

The flora in the site consists mainly with brushes and grasslands with no canopy trees. There site currently has no sign of logging activity as the trees available are not suitable to log. Furthermore, there is no agricultural activity on the Project site with more arable land available.

Economic and Human Development

The KIA project site is located in an area with low population volume. No indigenous population found in the area. There are about 500 families living in two villages, Kampung Melayu dan Kampung Cina, within a range of 10-15 km from the Project site. These residence areas are dwelling by migrants within past 20 years. They come from different places in the Peninsular Malaysia.

Moreover, there is no mineral resources on the site, so that, there is no mining industry. The residents in the area are mostly working in the town as government servants, self-working, small businessman and housewife. There are mixture income backgrounds of the dwellers in the area. Overall, the income level in the area is in middle range.

Kuantan, as with the rest of major capital city in Malaysia, is the one of the main focus of the Federal Government to develop the city with more economical value. Federal Government in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) has identified the tourism industry potential in Kuantan. So, the Federal Government take this opportunity through the plan to coordinate an appropriate approach to enhance Kuantan attraction by constructing KIA.

Quality of Life Values

On the site, there are no historical, wildernesses, archaeological, cultural or protected resources, or in proximity to the site. Public facilities such as school, health care centre, power line, telephone line, are not located in the Project site area or within 8km from the site. Most of the facilities are located near to the residential areas. The main roads to be access are East Coast Highway and basic access road provided by the authorities near to the neighbourhood.

ANTICIPATED ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS AND MITIGATION MEASURES

In this section, we will disclose the potential impact of the KIA development project on the surrounding environment and suggest mitigation measures. The report will cover the potential impacts associated with design, location, construction and operation. Briefly, the impacts are summed in the next table. Other additional impact on environment also will be discussed out of the table.

Loss of Ecological, Cultural, or Other Resources

Action Affecting Environmental

Resources and Values

Possible Effects on the

Environment

Significance of Possible Effects

Not significant

Significant

Low

Medium

Impact of KIA Design

Flooding

Downstream flooding, erosion

X

Slope erosion

Siltation of caught water affecting surface water quality

X

Human and petroleum waste disposal

Pollution of surface and groundwater

X

The construction of KIA will create a solid surface in the area its covers. There will be less significant impact on slope erosion and flooding or flash flooding. A proper design of the airport base and cutting-edge construction technology will alleviate adverse impact on the drainage system.

The embankment that will be built at the runway strip potentially mitigates slope erosion effect. Wastewater treatment plant will be place at the site project to reduce the effect of bacteria and turbidity from human waste. KIA will use recent human waste treatment technology with environment friendly processes.

It is undeniable that there will be fuel spilling occurring during the aircraft refuelling. So it is crucial to trap and treat these wastes before the wastes enter the main drainage system. To mitigate the impact, KIA's drainage system will be designed properly to channel the waste into the subsurface drains which contain trapping system to filter out the petroleum waste. Then, the petroleum waste streams to the wastewater treatment plan to break the hydrocarbon bonds which it initiated.

Action Affecting Environmental

Resources and Values

Possible Effects on the

Environment

Significance of Possible Effects

Not significant

Significant

Low

Medium

Impact of KIA Location

Disruption of groundwater

Changes in hydrologic regime

Pollution by spoils leach ate

impairment of profits

impairment of

drinking water source

irrigation usage

X

X

X

Resettlement

Disruption of houses

X

Changes in nearby land values

Increases land values around the KIA and general area

X

Environmental aesthetics

degradation

environmental aesthetics values decrease

X

Loss of archaeological, cultural, or

historical sites

Loss of significant sites

X

The groundwater will not disrupt by the project because the level of the groundwater is 10-12 metres below the surface level of the KIA's construction site. So the Project would not impair drinking water resources and irrigation usage.

The nearest residential area located about 10km outside the Project site and adequately far from airport operation. So, there is no necessary to relocate they settlement.

It will be minor appreciation of land value, particularly the land that closest to the Project site and main road access, East Coast Highway and basic road access to the Project location. This impact can be mitigated by a strict regulation by the local government who may control the development project off the site. Planning, zoning and appropriate permits could help avoiding unnecessary development.

Action Affecting Environmental

Resources and Values

Possible Effects on the

Environment

Significance of Possible Effects

Not significant

Significant

Low

Medium

Impact during KIA Construction

Sediment runoff

Damage to aquatic ecology and/or flooding problems

X

Workers safety

Hazards to workers'health and safety

X

Endemic communicable disease hazards

Damage to workers'health

X

Malarial disease hazards

Damage to workers'health

X

Slum creation hazards

Slums forming in construction housing after completion

X

Cultural differences hazards

Social disruption

X

Escape of hazardous materials

Damage to health of nearby residents

X

Escape of air pollutants and dust

Damage to health and nuisance

X

Noise and vibrations

Damage to health and nuisance

X

Quarrying/blasting

Blasting hazards

Failure to restore quarry site

Hazards to safety of workers and nearby residents

Loss of environmental aesthetics and land values

X

X

Disruption of nearby utilities

Disruption to services

X

Blocking of traffic/access to the KIA

Disruption of through highway traffic

X

During the Project construction, there are expected to subject minimal impacts, provided that the construction will adopt environment friendly and high technology design and construction practises and procedures. A contractual guarantee between the contractors and the local government will be signed before the works begin, as this agreement will be the provision to mitigate environmental impacts. Special conditions and specification will be detailed in the contract to drive the construction projects undertakings in a good manner with no unduly effect to the natural environment.

The impact of sedimentation and siltation will be mitigated by structuring silt barriers and sediment ponds. These temporary retention ponds practically useful to produce topsoil for agricultural purposes because the topsoil is enriches with organic matter.

There will be no quarrying activity near to the site or on the site. The noise and vibration from the construction works will be minimal as no piling and drilling activities expected. Since the residential areas are 10km away from the Project site, it is expected that dust from the main construction operations and the noise from the machinery will not affect the villagers prominently. The local government regulated that there is no construction operation allow at night, as a part of the mitigation measures.

Worker safety is one of the main factor should be highlighted by the developers. The workers will be protected by a contract and insurance policy. Good construction practise guidelines must be complied to implement safe site undertakings. Apparently, there is no hazard from aircrafts onto the workers as KIA is a new airport project. Workers health will be monitored by the panel health care centres appointed by the developer companies.

To mitigate traffic congestion in main access roads, contractors will construct a temporary lane especially for the trucks and heavy equipments to access easily into the Project site. Also there is no disruption of utilities expected because the Project will be powered by special generator.

Action Affecting Environmental

Resources and Value

Possible Effects on the

Environment

Significance of Possible Effects

Not significant

Significant

Low

Medium

Impact during KIA Operation

Noise disturbance

Hazard or nuisance to nearby residents

X

Vibration disturbance

Damage to nearby residents

X

Water pollution

Damage to surface and groundwater quality

X

Air pollution

Hazard or nuisance to nearby

residents/buildings

X

Erosion from newly completed earthworks

Risks to aquatic ecology or flooding

X

Pollution from normal

highway runoff

Risks to aquatic ecology

X

Highway spills of hazardous materials

Risks to residents and passerby

X

Escape of sanitary wastes

Health hazards to passengers or nearby residents

X

Congestion at airport access or exit points

Loss of time/air pollution

X

Hazards to traffic on highways near KIA from proximity to planes landing/taking off

Highway accidents

X

As the KIA operates, there will be minimal effect of noise and vibration to residential area nearest to the airport. During the EIA study, the 10km away residents are just subject to 36-43 decibels from daily vehicle traffics. The noise analysis has been implemented using approved methods by the International Civil Aviation Organization with the help by Department of Civil Aviation of Malaysia. The analysis proved that the aircraft noise would not bring significant impact to the residential area as anticipated earlier.

The sanitary wastes will be treated in the wastewater treatment plan. Therefore, there is no issue of contaminated water around the Project site. Furthermore, Malaysia has adequate experience in managing sewage treatment operation and maintenance in KIA as the plant system adopted and improved Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) wastewater management system. The system meets the World Health Organization (WHO) standards as part of the Project requirements.

As explained earlier, there is minimal air pollution around the KIA site. The absence of industry around the site area minimizes the impact. Carbon emission from the operated aircrafts will not massively alter the condition.

It is anticipated that during the KIA operation, the quality of life of the nearest population to be much better compare to existing life. The construction of KIA more-or-less will contribute to the advancement in the socioeconomic to the area near the KIA as well as city of Kuantan and other neighbouring districts, Pekan and Rompin. In addition, the infrastructure and public facilities indisputably will be improved due to the operation of KIA.

COST BENEFIT ANALYSES

Items

Description

Internal Rates of Return

Estimated economic rate of return is 15%.

Financial internal rate of return is 4.5%. An increase in financial rate is due to increase in airport rates and charges.

Economic Benefits

Increase in net visitor expenditure

Savings travel time

Value to foregone passengers and cargo traffic

Savings cost in domestic aviation operation.

Reduce hazards to aircrews and passengers.

Generate employments

Increase property values at nearest land.

Project Costs

Civil works

Equipment and its installation works

Consultation costs

Supervision costs

Environmental conserving costs

Monitoring and Reporting Costs

Monitoring environmental impacts costs

Consultant and Supervision costs

Maintenance costs

Nonquantified Environmental Impacts

Noise pollution

Air pollution

Surface and groundwater pollution

Monitoring Program

The impacts on environment of the proposed KIA Project are expected to be less significance. However, a delicate monitoring program is required to make sure the environments are not arbitrarily harmed by the irresponsible personnel.

Monitoring program started as early as the Project begins. Monitoring during the construction process primarily highlighted on controlling the sedimentation and soil erosion. Water quality, worker safety and traffic smoothness also will be covered. After the project finished, estimated 4 years, monitoring program will be continued during the operational phase. Water flow and quality, noise and vibration and air quality will be checked on monthly basis.

Department of Civil Aviation and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad are the bodies that responsible to monitor the construction process so that the Project construction progress well. Department of Environment and local authorities are responsible to monitor regulations on environmental issues. The bodies must ensure that the contractors carry out necessary controls and mitigation measures as written and signed in the contracts. Monthly progress reports on environmental monitoring process will be prepared by the appointed consultant, Gemilang Alam Sekitar (M) Sdn. Bhd. the reports will be handed to the authorities for revision.

CONCLUSION

From the EIA process, the KIA construction will not adversely affect the environment of the Project site, significantly. The usage of approved construction techniques will mitigate the impact of soil erosion, in fact improved the soil condition. Minor negative environment impacts can be avoided by cutting-edge technologies, good management on the Project site and appropriate regulations.

Monitoring program is necessary to review the construction works from the pre-construction until the post-construction phases. In order to make sure the monitoring program succeeded, consultants and government bodies must play their role well, so that, there will be no more harm to the environment.

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