Expectation airport finished in decade

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Christchurch International Airport executives have confirmed to a Tarras resident they are hoping to have their proposed new Tarras airport up and running in a decade.

Chris Goddard said both he and his wife, Donna, had a two-hour meeting with the project lead Michael Singleton a week ago.

He said Mr Singleton at the meeting confirmed Christchurch Airport was working towards a 10-year timeframe for the project which involved three years in design and planning, three years to seek approvals and three years to complete construction.

"The scope of the proposal feels like a single-runway, 24/7 operation with on-site freight containerisation," Mr Goddard said.

Christchurch Airport manager communications Yvonne Densem confirmed this week that 10 years represented the starting estimate of a realistic overall timeframe for the new airport becoming operational.

"Exact timeframes are difficult to define at the moment, but will become clearer as we continue our work."

She said they could not answer questions about runways or hours of operation as they had not created a business case or full design yet.

"We will share those things when they are ready. The first step is to have conversations [with Tarras residents] to help us understand what is important to people so we can take that into account when creating those," Ms Densem said.

The Otago Daily Times asked for the statistics or information supporting its case for a new international airport at Tarras, given the effects of Covid-19, flight shame and climate change would be ongoing.

Ms Densem also said that Christchurch Airport executives were "of the view people will continue to want to travel into and out of the wider Central Otago region into the future, so the region needs an airport solution that can do the job for the region in the long term".

Mr Goddard said a Tarras Residents’ Society was likely to be established within a fortnight to help the community decide what a sustainable plan for Tarras would look like for 2021 and beyond.

"There is a lot more to Tarras than whether we have an airport or not," Mr Goddard said.

kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz


 

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