The Queenstown Lakes District Council looks likely to acquire
the land surrounding the Glenorchy airstrip and start running
This comes a little over a month after the QLDC took control
of the Wanaka airport, a move which cost $220,000.
The Glenorchy airstrip costs $20,000 a year to run but should
the council get involved, costs were likely to rise with
extra activity taking place at the airstrip, senior policy
analyst Ralph Henderson said.
"If you were to increase activity, it would almost certainly
The non-manned airstrip is used privately by planes taking up
skydivers, top-dressing planes servicing Glenorchy farms and
aircraft flying to Milford Sound.
Mr Henderson said the biggest concern for locals was the
noise, as there would probably be more flights and other
"Part of the reason for concern is there would be a lot of
interest in using the airport, as it is cheaper to fly from
"That's hard for the community to understand," Mr Henderson
The land is owned by the Department of Conservation and the
airstrip is run by the Queenstown Airport Corporation.
The land was brought to the council's attention in March and
the QLDC has since been investigating the proposal to acquire
it. If it goes ahead, the council could use the airport
either commercially or privately.
Feedback so far had been "mixed" with arguments for and
against commercial use of the airstrip, said Mr Henderson. He
said the QLDC was in a "catch 22" as it would be involved
either way with resource consents for the land.
The council will decide if it will take ownership of the land
at its next meeting, which was scheduled for today, but is
likely to be postponed until August 30.
- Olivia Caldwell