New group set up to oppose airport

A new group is being welcomed to the fight plans for an international airport at Tarras.

The group, called Stop Central Otago Airport, has been set up by Hawea Flat Extinction Rebellion member Zella Downing.

Its website says: "New Zealanders didn’t ask for this, Central Otago doesn’t need it, the locals weren’t even consulted ..."

One of the founders of Sustainable Tarras Marilyn Duxon said yesterday there had been discussions with the new group, which planned to represent broader interests than just those of Tarras residents.

"We’re very much working together.

"I think it’s great there’s more than one group opposing the airport.

"It’s not just a little set of nimbys at Tarras, it’s actually the entire community that hates this idea."

Ms Duxon said the only residents in favour of the airport were "a very small number of very vocal older mostly male people" who had a very old-fashioned view of what progress was.

On its website, the new group predicts 70-100 flights in or out of Tarras Airport every 24 hours and says Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill Airports had plenty of spare capacity.

The new airport is being proposed by Christchurch International Airport Ltd, majority owned by the Christchurch City Council.

Ms Downing could not be reached yesterday.


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Its either Queenstown AND Wanaka . . . or Tarras
there has to be one international airport in Central Otago.
Dunedin too far away, bad roads, not near their own city.
Invercargill ticks all boxes but considered too far.
The trouble is we have 3 groups of NIMBYs all fighting for NO airport in their patch but not offering an alternative.
Fact - Queenstown airport has done its dash, runway not long enough, too dangerous, overloading the resort and taking valuable land.
Wanaka (as Queenstowns 2nd runway) would go the same way.
So Tarras - whats your NIMBY? with giving a good alternative?
And don't use the greenhouse gas argument - there is already an airport in the region.

Do your numbers anonymous GM. We don't need another airport. Queenstown has plenty capacity, as do Dunedin/invercargill and Christchurch. And we don't want unlimited unsustainable tourism growth. Let's call this for what it is, a market share grab by Christchurch airport for domestic flights into central that currently go to Queenstown, and a monopoly protection on wide body jets from Asia and USA that currently can only go to Christchurch. And then mostly drive to Central Otago. There are many reasons why another airport and a massive new build is a bad idea, incl. greenhouse. There is a clear alternative: slow massive tourism growth and use the existing airports, including Invercargill and Dunedin, and share the tourism around the regions including closer access to Milford.

To anonymous vdM
I get paid well to do numbers around airport usage and growth forecast.
You clearly did not read my post properly. Tarras would not eventually be “another airport”. Queenstown is unsustainable on many fronts and is not far from capacity expiration. That is why QAC want one airport (QAC) with 2 runways (ZQN & WKA). Without Tarras, that will most likely fly and would be far worse for CO and CO2!
Market practice has shown that Aussie or even Kiwi tourists will not venture to the CO playground or to their 2nd homes or timeshares etc if an airport is well over an hour away. So while DUD & IVC has domestic & international capacity, those visitors to CO will not fly via there.
As for international tourists all travelling by road via CHC – spare me days, do the research on that!!!
Tourism BTW is not “unsustainable growth”. It is around 6% of GDP or over 11 Bil.
Yes it is “a market share grab by CHC” and why not. QLDC along with AKL have had the monopoly for too long destroying the town of Queenstown in its wake.
To use your greenhouse argument you clearly need to say “I don’t want any airport in CO at all". Be honest about that. You will get laughed at.

So you must be an airport development proponent then. I am a local resident, likely with personal financial benefits if a Tarras airport went ahead. Let's look at the numbers. Qtn did 2 mil passenger movements in 2019 and the community was straining and complaining. Qtn airport can handle up to 5 mil by the way just by relocating its terminal. Publicly available documents. Local communities in Qtn, Wanaka and Tarras don't want massive tourist increases. Wanaka and Tarras communities don't want another airport. Chch, inv and Dun have plenty of capacity. A new industrial airport build in Tarras will be environmentally destructive in many ways. Overseas many tourist resorts are hours from airports, so no big deal. The problem you have is in the numbers though. A Tarras airport will need millions of passengers a year to be financially viable. So is this going to be forced on to the local community by an out of district airport authority? We need a national discussion about a sustainable tourist number. That is the issue. And then you guys need to adjust your unrealistic hockey stick 2040/2050 tourist projections. And then we need a sustainable airport model that benefits all regions.

Yes I am in favour of the Tarras site and yes have an interest in a Tarras property.
I await with fingers crossed the aeronautical analysis of Tarras– which will be released shortly.
Now bear in mind, I believe that Tarras will take out ZQN & WKA – so not “another airport”.
Yes Queenstown (Frankton) is “straining and complaining”. QAC have said themselves they have a lifespan of maybe 30 years. But the biggest problem is their runway length and future types of aircraft as well as markets beyond Aussies eastern coast. That’s why they want a 2nd runway at WKA.
So we have Queenstown district now ruined - “environmentally destructive” - “forced on to the local community” - we will then get Wanaka ruined.
I hear loud & clear that residents in CO do not want more tourists. You can’t do much about “sustainable tourist numbers” sadly. Some will come via CHC and even DUD or IVC but weekend tourists want a quick fly in & out. And then theres exports that need larger aircraft.
Tarras airport will not need your numbers as costs will be absorbed with the operation of CHC.
CHC have not sunk this $$ in on a whim. Protest all you like - it is most likely to happen.

Good luck with your speculative investment, it won't happen, for many reasons.

I hope we can meet and have a beer one day when this is all done with. Maybe somewhere in Tarras. The beer will be on me.

Meanwhile, you may want to read up on Simon Uptons tourism model recommendations. Not the deal breaker but will provide some insights into how the world has changed with covid and growing climate change concerns. And it may just make you dampen your forecasts a little! All the best.

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