No change to QAC intention of dual airport

The Queenstown Airport Corporation is not changing course on its dual Queenstown-Wanaka Airport solution to dealing with increased air traffic to the region.

The QAC's statement of intent goes to its major shareholder, the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) on Thursday.

The final version contains minor changes to the draft statement earlier this year as a result of discussions between the QAC and QLDC, but there is no change of intent.

The council can "compel" the QAC to make changes to, among other things, the "nature and scope of activities to be undertaken".

Council general manager finance, legal and regulatory Stewart Burns and chief executive Mike Theelen are recommending the statement be "received" by the council.

Michael Ross, the spokesman for the Wanaka Stakeholders Group which opposes commercial development of Wanaka Airport, claimed yesterday the council did not have a mandate to "approve" the statement of intent because a report by consultants Arup - which concluded the dual airport option was the "most viable" - was done after public consultation began.

Mr Ross said his group was also "seriously concerned" that "despite numerous requests for public input into the ramifications of the draft statement of intent ... nothing has transpired."

"Our requests to have the council engage with the Upper Clutha community on the potential future changes to the Wanaka Airport have been declined."

He urged the council to "ensure that a dual airport model is not adopted".

"There is no demonstrated community mandate for the dual airport model."

The statement of intent includes the Wanaka "guiding principle": "QLDC and QAC agree to commit to engage with all of the stakeholders involved at the Wanaka Airport and the wider Wanaka community in future planning activities".

It also includes a new "forward planning" section which refers to an "integrated engagement plan" to encourage feedback from the community and other stakeholders.

The statement describes Wanaka Airport as a "regional airport" with scheduled domestic services from about 2025.


My thoughts go to the lovely residents of Wanaka & Luggate if overseas passenger jets land at WKA.
You will soon get used to the noise, the new hotels, the extra few thousand tourists, the more rental cars, the soon to be clogged up roads, the accommodation for all the workers, the new supermarket & retail stores, the mini city that will be created as has taken over Frankton. Wanaka retail will suffer as this new airport retail complex takes over.
And all that extra traffic cross the centre line through the Kawarau Gorge.
O the joy.