Citing concerns about the cost for the construction and maintenance of the new Terminal 3 at Taipei Taoyuan Airport, Taiwan’s Transportation Minister has ordered a redesign of the terminal.

In a report from Taiwan’s Central News Agency, Taiwan’s Transportation Minister Wu Hong-mo stressed that “usefulness and practicality, not the nature of its decoration” was the most important aspect of the project.

At center of the concerns on the current design are the 130,000 flower shaped aluminum tubes to be held above on the ceiling of the terminal’s departure hall. The Taoyuan International Airport Corporation (TIAC) had set a budget NT$39.6 billion (US$1.28 billion), but estimated the tubes would be costly and time consuming to repair. With the potential costs of repairs, some revised estimates have increased the cost of construction to NT$74.6 billion (US$2.54 billion).

While the project is ongoing, it has seen some setbacks along with the new request to redesign the terminal. After opening the bidding process, some contractors interested in the project expressed concerns that the timeframe requested by the TIAC was too short which prompted estimated completion date to 2020.

TIAC has stated it has already asked for a revision of the design from Great Britain’s Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Taiwan’s CECI Engineering Consultants, Inc., who were awarded the design bidding in 2015. The design by Rogers + Partners and CECI Engineering would be for a 640,000 square meter terminal building that would boost the capacity of the airport to 45 million passengers per year.

The project is a priority for Taoyuan Airport, which saw 44 million passengers in 2017 – 10 million more than the designed capacity for the two terminals.

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