Queenstown Airport has experienced a significant amount of
growth, but continued growth must wait for final decisions on
issues relating to noise and land acquisition.
A record number of passengers, anticipated with completion of
the new international departure area, has helped Queenstown
Airport post a $5.2 million profit after tax for the year
ending June 30, 2012.
Airport chairman John Gilks informed Queenstown Lakes
District Council councillors of the airport's financial
position at the finance and corporate committee meeting
The profit compared with $4.6 million the previous year,
which amounted to a gain of 13%.
Expenditure totalled $8.6 million, which was attributed to a
number of major projects, including the completion of the
east runway end safety area, the sealing of the cross runway
and the extension of the apron which allowed for an
additional jet stand.
Because of the need to maintain infrastructure to meet the
demand, expenditure was "always going to be reasonably high",
Mr Gilks said.
The airport's debt increased to $19.8 million from $11.6
million the previous year.
Mr Gilks acknowledged "noise is an issue and will always be
an issue with every airport".
"What's commonly known as PC35 [Plan Change 35], which is the
review of the noise boundaries is before the courts, and we
understand there has been an interim decision ... [and] there
will be a final decision in October."
"We are hopeful that that will provide for boundaries and
noise limits which will take the airport through to around
20-25 years; that's the plan."
"On the flip side, there will be quite an obligation to
ensure there is adequate noise mitigation."
In July, an environmental court hearing in Queenstown also
sought to determine whether Queenstown Airport should gain
and develop what was known as "Lot 6", a portion of
Remarkables Park Ltd.
Mr Gilks said acquiring land was "another priority" and the
airport believed it had "put up a very good case" in July.
"We hope a decision will be made some time in October."
In the report presented to the council, airport chief
executive Scott Paterson said the company spent $942,000 "on
district planning processes for the extension of its noise
boundaries [PC35] and amendments to the flight fans".
This was in addition to money spent on other planning issues
such as extending the Airport Designation to Lot 6.
It was emphasised the airport had achieved a lot, despite
experiencing a year of what Mr Gilks labelled "significant
There had been changes to the board and senior management and
the airport had been without a chief executive when Steve
Sanderson departed in October 2011. Mr Paterson was appointed
in February 2012.