Domestic passenger growth at Queenstown Airport may flatten
for the first time in four years, following Jetstar's
suspension of its Wellington-Queenstown service and depending
on what Air New Zealand does.
Queenstown Lakes district councillors heard the prediction
from Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) chief executive
Scott Paterson when he tabled the airport's statement of
intent for 2014-16 last week. He warned the suspension would
affect the airport's revenue, ''but we're not waving the
white flag at the moment''.
Mr Paterson said 2013-14 was ''a year of internal planning,
to look at ... the next steps to handle growth and what are
the triggers of growth''.
Preparatory work was expected on the next major
infrastructure projects - anticipated to be an expansion of
the international arrivals facilities, including an extra bag
reclaim - and agreeing with airlines on the timing for a
A negotiated settlement with neighbour Remarkables Park Ltd
was preferred to acquire land for a new aviation precinct,
although the statement points out the Minister for the
Environment recognised the ''plan of national significance''
in February 2011.
''An outcome is not likely until 2014,'' the statement said.
''This delay blocks QAC's plans to establish world-class
corporate jet facilities and frustrates the expansion plans
of the region's [general aviation] industry.''
Proving to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) evening flights
in winter can occur safely was described by the statement as
the starting point for CAA approval for airlines to operate
at Queenstown Airport after dark, throughout the consented
window of 6am to 10pm.
The statement highlights the gains to Queenstown Airport from
its ''strategic alliance'' with Auckland International
Airport Ltd (AIAL), which has developed to involve sharing
intellectual property and airport expertise.
QAC staff were involved in joint fire training, observed
emergency exercises and attended an aviation briefing by a
Boeing senior executive in 2012.
AIAL will provide QAC with advice on enhancing safety
management, give input on plans to revamp the retail area in
the terminal, peer review capital plans, support the
introduction of plan change 35 noise mitigation and promote
thedistrict over the next 18 months.
''The value of having a sounding board for airport business
issues should not be underestimated,'' the statement said.
Total revenue was forecast to be $20.2 million for the year
ending June 30, 2014, rising to $21.3 million for the same
period in 2015 and $22.5 million in 2016.
Total passenger numbers were forecast to be 1.2 million for
the year ending June 30, 2014, climbing to 1.3 million in
2015 and 1.4 million in 2016.
The recommendation to note the statement was moved by Cr Lyal
Cox, seconded by Cr Trevor Tattersfield and carried without