'Disappointed' by report

Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) chief executive Steve Sanderson has said he is "very disappointed" with a planner's report which criticises a proposal to extend the airport's operating hours and noise boundaries.

The noise-boundary plan, plan change 35, which was adopted by the Queenstown Lakes District Council, proposes to extend the noise boundaries in all directions to allow for the airport's projected growth through to 2037.

It also proposes to extend the airport's operating hours, which begin at 6am, by two hours, to midnight.

The plan change is due to go before commissioners Bob Batty, David Clarke and Stephen Chiles for a seven-day hearing from June 14 to 22 at the Crowne Plaza.

The report by council senior policy analyst Karen Page makes recommendations for the commissioners on public submissions received on the plan change.

Ms Page recommended the commissioners accept the submissions that argue night-time flights should be rejected. QAC had provided insufficient information on the effects of the night flights.

It failed to show how it would mitigate the adverse effects and did not analyse the cost on amenity values versus the economic benefits of providing night flights.

She said the plan change failed to consider appropriately the future growth around the airport and it would not result in "sustainable management of resources".

She said outdoor amenity levels might be compromised and could not be mitigated for those within the air noise boundaries. Indoor amenity levels would be compromised for those living within the sound insulation boundary unless a ventilation system was installed at the owners' expense and doors and windows were kept closed.

She said monitoring and engine testing should be provided for in the plan change.

The noise management plan was inadequate in its proposals to mitigate the noise effects and she recommended the cost of any mitigation measures be incurred by the airport.

She accepted the air noise boundaries needed to expand to enable airport growth, based on the airport's acoustic assessment.

"Further information, however, is sought from QAC in respect to the subjectivity of noise measurements and ability to accurately provide for a distinct noise boundary," she said.

She recommended the commissioners reject the submission points that the airport and its activities should be relocated to an alternative site.

Mr Sanderson said he was disappointed with Ms Page's summary of the plan change.

"The planner failed to grasp an understanding of the plan change and the notice of requirement. If you piece together her recommendations it is simply not a plan change any more and leaves just confusion," he said.

Ms Page did not take the supporting submissions into account but focused on the opposing submissions, he said.

"I am confident the commissioners will get a better understanding of it and our expert witnesses will put forward a very good case, and along with the supporting submitters will be able to address the concerns in the opposing submissions," he said.

A total of 92 original submissions and 151 further submissions from 12 submitters were received. Of the original submissions, 24 supported, eight partly supported, and 60 opposed the plan change.

 


AT A GLANCE
• Plan change 35 proposes to extend noise boundaries in all directions to allow for the airport's projected growth through to 2037.
• It also proposes to extend the airport's operating hours, which begin at 6am, by two hours, to midnight.
• Of the original submissions, 24 supported, eight partly supported and 60 opposed the plan change.
• The plan change is due to go before commissioners Bob Batty, David Clarke and Stephen Chiles for a seven-day hearing from June 14 to 22, at the Crowne Plaza.


 

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