PILOTS OUTLINE SAFETY FEARS FOR WELLINGTON AIRPORT’S RUNWAY EXTENSION

Link to Radio NZ article here Thanks to the Pilots Association for caring about the travelling public’s safety – because Wellington International Airport Ltd (WIAL) seem to be happy with ‘making do’. The Association’s President Tim Robinson said in their submission on the runway extension that his members had the most to gain from the extension but was opposed to it unless it included a Runway End Safety Area (RESA) of 240 metres.   This is the minimum expected by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and New Zealand’s own Civil Aviation Authority – organisations that presumably know a thing or two about airport safety. What’s more, they don’t have a vested interest in the airport, unlike WIAL who stands to gain A LOT from increased landing charges that will be passed on to all of us, the travelling public. As international aviation safety expert, Brian Greeves has said when acknowledging the cost of installing a 240 metre RESA, “the financial losses if just one Boeing 777 or Airbus 330 aircraft were to overrun the runway and 90 metre RESA with substantial fatalities, would more than outweigh the construction cost, without taking into account the human cost”.  On top of this, Read More …

RE-BLOG SURFBREAK PROTECTION SOCIETY: Wellington Airport Calling the Tune on Lyall Bay’s Corner surf break

by Michael Gunson Link here Revelations have emerged that Wellington International Airport Ltd has been responsible for alterations to the Moa Point Road sea wall in Lyall Bay. Why has the airport been in charge of developing the sea wall, and not the Wellington City Council? The incremental creep of the sea wall has had a negative impact on Wellington’s premier Lyall Bay Corner surf break. WIAL are also applying for consents to build a 3 meter wide promenade the length of Moa Point Rd, as well as seeking the Corner surf break’s deletion, from a GWRC schedule of regionally significant surf breaks. Since the beginning, the airport company has reassured Wellington surfers that it is doing all it can to preserve our surf breaks in Lyall Bay, to mitigate future impacts and even improve it. As we stare down the barrel of their proposed runway extension, it is now becoming clear to Wellington’s surfing community that this is not the case. The 346-page Assessment of Environmental Effects (AEE) only discusses mitigation, not active avoidance or a plan to remedy adverse effects on the Corner. WIAL has submitted 28 documents to the Wellington City Council (WCC) and the Greater Wellington Read More …

RE-BLOG SAVE THE BASIN: 310 Extra Heavy Trucks A Day Through Mt Victoria Tunnel – How Does That Sound?

Re-blogged from Save the Basin (Tim Jones) Up to 310 extra heavy trucks a day rumbling from quarries in Horokiwi and Ngauranga, down State Highway 1, through the Terrace Tunnel, past the Basin Reserve, through the Mt Victoria Tunnel, and on through residential streets to Wellington Airport, day and night, for up to 3 years – and then rumbling back. That’s what Wellington International Airport Ltd wants to inflict on Wellington’s residents and ratepayers. They are seeking $90 million from Wellington City Council, and more again from other Wellington-region councils and central government, to extend Wellington Airport runway 363 metres into Lyall Bay. And their resource consent application makes it clear the scale of the disruption their plans will entail. There are many arguments against this plan – and you will find a lot of them on the Guardians of the Bays website. But even people who may not be opposed to a runway extension per se need to pay attention to the construction traffic implications, because they are serious both for road users and for those living near the planned route who value their lifestyle – and their sleep. If you like a long read, Technical Report 9 is Read More …

RE-BLOG KEITH JOHNSON: CentrePort Proposals to Scour Wellington Berths and Dredge Wellington Harbour Mouth need proper Multi-Criteria Appraisal

JUST BIGGER IS BETTER AS FAR AS TRAFFIC IS CONCERNED? By Keith Johnson While road transport increasingly grinds to a halt in Wellington and road rage is becoming common, partly consequent on Wellington City Council’s dog-in-the-manger approach to investment in roads, the Bigger is Better philosophy is receiving ringing endorsement from local authorities with respect to the aviation and maritime shipping industries. Much has been published on this website about Wellington International Airport’s Runway Extension Project – including an article by Dr Sea Rotmann which draws attention to the massive contribution of air travel worldwide to CO2 emissions. Maritime transport is also a major emitter. In this respect, Wellington Regional Council should be insisting upon a proper Multi-Criteria Assessment of the proposed dredging of Wellington Harbour by CentrePort. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/79692673/CentrePort-reveals-details-of-plans-to-dredge-7km-channel-in-Wellington-Harbour A Multi-Criteria Assessment would cover all dimensions of a major public investment: Cost-Benefit Analysis [including the Business Case] Economic Impacts Environmental and Safety Impacts Social and Distributional Impacts With the whole to be concluded with an over-arching summary of redlines and trade-offs. Looking at the current situation, the parallels between the CentrePort proposal and the Runway Extension Project are very interesting: Doubts about financial viability Optimistic multiplier-based ‘economic’ rather than business Read More …

REPORT CAPA: Christchurch International Airport belies its ‘remoteness’; pivotal to New Zealand’s tourism

This report clearly shows why Christchurch, not Wellington, is the obvious second long-haul airport in New Zealand. In summary: ChCh airport already has a well-established runway that can fly in large, long-haul planes safely ChCh airport has no curfew and does not operate in the middle of the city ChCh has greater tourism and manufacturing and industry importance than Wgtn ChCh airport is higher ranked on most metrics than Wgtn: on ASKs (average seat km), seats and cargo payload It also has a higher degree of choice for passengers Emirates, Singapore, China Southern and Fiji airlines already fly long-haul from ChCh It has much greater cargo capacity than Wgtn It already has 3 runways and a completed major terminal upgrade It is entirely in the public hand (75% City Council, 25% NZ Govt) and will remain so Queenstown, not Wellington is its biggest competitor (but not for long-haul flights). Queenstown is the second busiest airport in the country already. REPORT: New Zealand is a remote country and Christchurch, on the South Island, a more remote city than either Auckland or Wellington. Being located at the far end of the world must impact on connectivity. The government has transformed New Zealand Read More …

RE-BLOG STAB MAGAZINE: How To Torch A Surf Spot, With: Wellington International Airport

All is not well in Wellington. By Words by Jake Howard | Photos by Anthony Green Link If you’ve ever had to go through customs in New Zealand, you’ll know they don’t f*ck around when it comes to protecting their unique environment. Have a little something spilled on your shoe and you’re as good as barred. But even in the land of the Long White Cloud, the wheels of progress grind ever forward. On the southern tip of the north island there is a rising quarrel between the Wellington International Airport and local surfers. With a runway extension in the planning stages, adjacent Lyall Bay may soon find itself in the oncoming path of an Airbus. For those short on New Zealand surf history, on March 7, 1915, a certain Duke Kahanamoku introduced wave shooting to a stunned Kiwi audience at Lyall Bay. “He stood right up on the board, while the latter shot along at a great speed,” reads an account from The Evening Post. “By careful steering he prolonged the shoot for a distance of 150 to 200 yards.” We should all hope to prolong the shoot. Needless to say, Lyall Bay is the official birthplace of New Read More …

REBLOG ORA TAIAO: Call for urgent health check on Wellington runway extension plans

OraTaiao: The NZ Climate and Health Council is calling for an independent health check on Wellington Airport’s expensive plans to extend the runway into Lyall Bay. Aviation makes a significant contribution to climate-damaging emissions – the average Wellingtonian’s footprint is 5.32 CO2eq tonnes annually with almost 20% from domestic flights. “These emissions contribute to climate change, a leading global threat to health,” says OraTaiao co-convenor Dr Rhys Jones. “An extension of the runway would exacerbate this situation.” Each additional flight, particularly international, adds enormously to our overall emissions footprint. For example, one person flying return to Hong Kong burns up 4.0 tonnes, and London return 7.9 tonnes. “The world has agreed on a pathway towards zero net global emissions this century,” says Dr Jones. “Successful, thriving cities will be those who develop along this trajectory. The runway extension would take Wellington in exactly the wrong direction – for our economy and for our health.” “At the moment we’re flying blind,” says Dr Jones. “Neither the airport nor the Council even know much the extension will increase emissions.” “The only reference to climate by the airport to date has been the viability of the runway extension with increasing sea levels and Read More …

REBLOG SURFBREAK PROTECTION SOCIETY: Lyall Bay surf breaks at “substantial risk” from runway extension plan

The Surfbreak Protection Society (SPS) is very concerned that Wellington International Airport Ltd is attempting to railroad through its runway extension by way of the Environment Court, seeing it has not yet yall Bay made convincing arguments through articulated scientific-based debate. In March, SPS questioned the sincerity of WIAL’s proposed mitigation of a swell focussing reef, while at the same time the airport company were seeking the deletion of policies that protect surf breaks, by way of WIAL’s submission to the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Proposed Natural Resources Plan (PNRP). WIAL have yet again demonstrated their statement of intent, in pursuing the deletion of protection for the region’s surf breaks, and in particular, Lyall Bay’s revered Corner surf break in the PNRP, by way of a further submission to the plan. In plain words, WIAL are telling surfers that the company is obligated to protect Lyall Bay’s surfing amenity “overall”, yet on the other hand, are aggressively attacking the very legal obligations for them to do so, by seeking these policy changes. SPS, along with the Wellington Boardriders Club and other concerned local surfers, have been consulting with WIAL since May last year. WIAL submitted to the PNRP on 25 Read More …

NEWS SCOOP WELLINGTON – It’s official: Wellington Airport applies to extend runway by 350 metres

BusinessDesk report by Sophie Boot Wellington International Airport has lodged an application with the Wellington City Council and the Greater Wellington Regional Council to extend its runway. The airport is seeking permission to build a 350-metre runway extension in a bid to attract long-haul flights from Asia and the United States, at a cost of $300 million. The airport’s 66 percent controlling shareholder, Infratil, is pushing for central and local government funding to cover most of the capital costs, arguing the investment is in the national and regional interest while not being viable on a standalone commercial basis. Wellington City Council owns the remaining third. In a media release, the airport’s chief executive Steve Sanderson said public feedback on the proposed extension had been encouraging, and the airport had been working to overcome people’s concerns. For more, read here.

RE-BLOG KEITH JOHNSON: TIME FOR ‘A CUP OF TEA’ ON BIG IDEAS?

Local economist, policy adviser and writer Keith Johnson says he will push for greater accountability, lower rate and debt rises, and higher levels of scrutiny for project planning and implementation. The contest for Wellington’s mayoralty is heating up, with profesional public policy analyst and citizen journalist Keith Johnson declaring that he will enter the race as an independent. Johnson joins incumbent mayor Celia Wade-Brown, deputy mayor Justin Lester and councillors Nicola Young and Jo Coughlan in declaring their candidacies in the October election. Reining in the Council’s sometimes massive, and apparently somewhat casual and arbitrary spending plans will be his top priority. Like Jo Coughlan, Johnson is highly critical of the Council’s approach to transport planning, arguing that it is driven by emotion rather than objectivity. He agrees with Jo that failure to solve the Basin Reserve’s peak hour congestion has resulted in “lost years” of progress, resulting from the canning of a proposed highway flyover and a failure to promote a practical alternative. Unlike all the other candidates who are standing, Keith is also highly critical of plans for the Council to contribute $90 million to the proposed Wellington Airport Runway Extension Project. He sees this as yet another Read More …