Airport neighbours given hearing

Queenstown Airport Corporation chief executive Scott Paterson (top, third from left) talks to Frankton residents about the corporation's offer of aircraft noise mitigation packages to affected homeowners. Photo by James Beech.
Queenstown Airport Corporation chief executive Scott Paterson (top, third from left) talks to Frankton residents about the corporation's offer of aircraft noise mitigation packages to affected homeowners. Photo by James Beech.

The nature and timing of aircraft noise mitigation to be offered in Frankton were among the questions posed by residents to Queenstown Airport Corporation chiefs at a drop-in session last week.

However, no-one who attended protested the plan outright, raised concerns about being sealed in their houses by the mitigation measures of insulation and mechanical ventilation, or called for the airport to move away from residential areas.

More than 80 Frankton residents met senior airport managers to comment on and ask questions about the corporation's offer of aircraft noise mitigation packages to the 150 homeowners most affected.

The initiative was announced on February 25.

Queenstown Airport Corporation chief executive Scott Paterson said on Thursday he met some of the 10 homeowners most affected by noise who stand to have their mitigation packages fully funded by the corporation.

The next 140 homeowners, who live in projected noise boundaries emanating from the runaway, could receive 75% towards the cost of installing mechanical ventilation.

''We had a great turnout, lots of questions, and we've taken away quite a lot of questions to seek further input, particularly about the measurement and the impact of noise on various properties.''

Homeowners pointed out their houses on maps and staff gave them an indication of the mitigation they would be entitled to.

Homeowners will be contacted about how and when they might receive an offer.

Tenders for mitigation suppliers will be issued, but the timing is not known yet.

''It was a good learning experience for both groups,'' Mr Paterson said, ''Internally, we will correlate the comments we each received last night and develop a plan to provide feedback to people.''

The Queenstown Airport Liaison Committee will meet in June and winter noise monitoring would be conducted in July and August, Mr Paterson said.

''We expect to be sending the estimated 150 affected home owners letters offering the mitigation package commensurate with their noise zoning. Mitigation will start to be installed in September or October.

''Summer noise planning is scheduled for January and February 2015.''