QLDC report recognises competition

Photo: ODT files.
Photo: ODT files
The Queenstown Lakes District Council has made clear its expectations of Queenstown Airport in respect to a proposed airport at Tarras.

The airport's "statement of expectations", a document prepared by the council to guide the airport's next statement of intent, also rules out wide-bodied jets for Queenstown or Wanaka airports and goes before councillors on Thursday.

The document was prepared by QLDC and signed by Mayor Jim Boult.

The annual report is produced by the council-controlled trading organisation - of which the council owns 75.01% - and sets its strategic direction for a three-year period, but is reviewed annually.

It is next due to be considered by the council in June.

The last report, referred to as its statement of intent (SOI), was finally approved by the council in October, following protracted discussions.

Regarding the "position on proposed Tarras Airport", the document said moves by Christchurch International Airport Ltd to buy land for the development of an international airport at Tarras presented, "in the shareholders’ opinion", potential new competition.

"It is conceivable that this proposal could impact the QAC and it is, therefore, our expectation that QAC’s strategic planning will reflect the need to understand and plan for any activity created by the Tarras proposal."

The document said the airport would protect the operational and financial position of the company within the frameworks of the Commerce Act.

Airport noise boundaries were also addressed - those were a "significant matter" for the community, "particularly and understandably, those close to Queenstown and Wanaka airports".

While the operational risk of being constrained by air noise boundaries had receded due to Covid-19, the airport company needed to actively plan to operate within existing air noise boundaries, by "maximising technology and management practices", within the term of the proposed SOI.

Other matters addressed included land acquisition or disposal, climate action and strategic planning.

Regarding the latter, it was expected the strategic plan would address the "long-term future role, scale and operational nature of QAC with an emphasis on the district’s wellbeing".

"QLDC expects the proposed strategic plan will reinforce QAC’s commitment to proactively engage the council on the draft plan before any final endorsement by the QAC board."

Under the heading "SOI General expectation" the document states the council expects to receive a "more succinct SOI that explicitly outlines the QAC intent for the next three years and beyond".




Queenstown & Wanaka airports are both in & owned by the QLDC.
Tarras is in the CODC boundary.
So of course Jim Boult is a bit upset - also given he managed Chch Airport.
5 Options
DUNEDIN = too far away from Central let alone the city, roads terrible.

INVERCARGILL = ready now, all the amenities, one of the longest runways in NZ, the best flight path but too far away from Queenstown & Central.

QUEENSTOWN = has noise, safety, too short a runway and can't expand issues. Its future is dead anyway. QLDC just making hay while the sun shines there, so to prolong it, they want one airport 2 runways, meaning

WANAKA = will ruin the town, cost far more than thought as a new runway will be needed further over - given that full RESAs (safety areas) will be required as no grandfather clause like Queenstown. It will in fact cost the same to build as

TARRAS = has the financial backing of Chch plus their management and partnership for tourism. Most passengers into Queenstown Airport now originate from CODC boundary. An hour to Queenstown. Will have plenty of room for a wide bodied aircraft runway, so Asian flights possible. Best option for flying freight (fruit & wine).