Scoop – Surfers opposing runway extension, defending Lyall Bay

Originally published on Scoop News from WPW The Surfbreak Protection Society, New Zealand’s national surfers’ environmental organisation, is opposing Wellington Airport’s application for resource consent to extend its runway because of the impact it will have on surfing and the surfing environment on Wellington’s South Coast. Michael Gunson of the SPS says community groups, local businesses and individuals need to get informed about the proposed extension and what it could mean to their quality of life. “This project will unfortunately not return the benefits that the Airport and the City Council are promoting. Given the events of the last week, it is even more important that a project of this size, which is heavily reliant on public funding to get it across the line, is put under proper scrutiny. Something that has not happened yet. “In addition to the worrying economic figures that came out of the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s report last month, saying that the estimated cost of the extension would be $428m but likely to rise to almost $500m, compared to the Airport’s estimation of $300m, SPS are focusing their concerns on the impacts to the surfing at Lyall Bay. “Both the Greater Wellington Regional Council and Read More …

Scoop – Moa Point residents’ group to oppose runway extension – “so many concerns”

Originally published on Scoop. News from Hue tē Taka Hue tē Taka Incorporated Society which represents the most directly and severely affected residents from Moa Point, who are Wellington Airport’s neighbours, has today announced it will be opposing the Airport’s application for resource consent to extend the runway in the Environment Court next year. Karl Weber of Hue tē Taka said that they are urging other community groups, local businesses and individuals to do the same. “We have filed our form under section 274 stating that we would like to appear in the Environment Court and speak to the submission we made on the application in August. “Despite almost 70% of submissions made on the application being in opposition, the local community are not getting any support from local government. So, it is important that everyone who wants to appear in Court to oppose the application also files an s274 form before the deadline on Friday. “Sadly it falls to the community to put pressure on the Airport over the many concerns we have about the proposed runway extension. We hope that many people feel they would like to follow us in putting our own resources into the Environment Court Read More …

MEDIA RELEASE GotB: WIAL’S SUSPENSION OF RESOURCE CONSENT APPLICATION A WIN FOR WELLINGTON RATEPAYERS

September 9, 2016 Wellington International Airport’s decision today to request suspension of its application for resource consent for the runway extension is a big win for the people of Wellington, says resident and ratepayer group Guardians of the Bays. The request to suspend the application was made to Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council. It comes one day after Wellington City Council released its 2016 Survey of Wellington Businesses showing that only eight percent of businesses find a lack of international capacity via Wellington International Airport a challenge to their business opportunities and operations. Richard Randerson, Co-Chair of Guardians of the Bays, said the withdrawal was not yet permanent but was a concession that the right questions have not been answered about the proposed extension. “Wellington ratepayers have challenged the evidence behind the proposed extension. Their questions have been justified and sensible and should have been asked before. “As a result of the increased public scrutiny we have seen a majority of mayoral candidates back-pedal on their outright support for the extension.” “That is because the public have serious doubts about this white-elephant and mayoral candidates are feeling the pressure,” added Mr Randerson. Last month, it was shown Read More …

Longer runway not priority for city businesses – council survey

Original article Wellington’s parking and transport are bigger challenges to Wellington businesses than lack of international capacity via Wellington International Airport, according to the Wellington City Council’s 2016 Survey of Wellington Businesses. Richard Randerson, co-chair of broad-based residents’ group Guardians of the Bays, says the survey is further evidence that Wellington Airport’s proposed runway extension is not the silver bullet Wellingtonians have been promised. “The Airport and the City Council have been promising ratepayers that long-haul flights into Wellington will create more business opportunities for local companies, but this survey shows that businesses are wise to the real issues – and accessibility within the city is a much bigger concern. “The survey also shows that over 90 percent of business do not feel disadvantaged by a lack of business opportunities or the size of the local market.” Mr Randerson added that the City Council had been quick to give the Airport Company $3million of ratepayer money last year to help scope its resource consent application even though their own 2014 research showed just 10 percent of local businesses thought more international flights into the capital would provide advantages. “We are now looking to the next generation Council and we are Read More …

Wellington runway extension plan ‘implausible at best’

Original article on scoop.co.nz By Pattrick Smellie Aug. 15 (BusinessDesk) – Wellington’s airport runway extension initiative fails on the grounds that lower North Island and South Island travellers are already flying to long-haul destinations through Auckland or Christchurch and the region is not a magnet for tourists, who are more likely to favour Auckland and Queenstown as an arrival point. That’s the conclusion of a study commissioned by the lobby group for international airlines, including Air New Zealand, lodged in opposition to Wellington International Airport’s application for a resource consent to lengthen the capital city’s runway by 350 metres. The new study, by Australian-based Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consultants for the Board of Airline Representatives in New Zealand, said the likelihood of airlines establishing new long-haul services to the capital is “extremely remote, implausible at best”. It contests the findings of a study by rival aviation industry consultants, InterVistas, which APAC said has over-estimated demand for long-haul services to and from Wellington, which it said has not benefitted from the boom in international tourism that has boosted arrivals, particularly to Auckland and Queenstown, in recent years. “Visitor demand growth from long-haul markets to Wellington has lagged not only the New Zealand Read More …

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 …

MEDIA RELEASE: No plan B leaves Wellington ratepayers exposed over airport extension proposal.

“Wellington City Council has no Plan B to protect Wellington’s ratepayers if the Wellington Airport Extension doesn’t deliver,” according to business, recreational, community and environmental groups who are calling for more rigour around the proposal. The Guardians of the Bays, a citizen-led umbrella organisation representing a growing number of groups of businesses and individuals who are concerned the runway extension will not deliver the benefits being promised by Wellington International Airport Limited and some City Councillors. Co-chairs Dr Sea Rotmann and Richard Randerson said the airport is being presented to the public as Wellington’s main economic growth option. “We are all keen on a progressive and successful Wellington. But the numbers being put up for this proposal simply don’t stack up. “The Council has promised $90 million of ratepayer money, on top of $3 million already handed over to the airport, for a runway extension that has no business case. The Airport has refused to put its numbers under the scrutiny of the Government’s own Better Business Case process, which is required for getting Central Government funding.” “Economically, the runway extension has the potential to lump Wellington ratepayers with a wasteful and unnecessary White Elephant requiring significant ratepayer subsidies and Read More …

OPED DOM POST: Richard Randerson- The Runway Extension is pouring money into Cook Strait

See article here. JOHN NICHOLSON/FAIRFAX NZ Wellington Airport: Is it fair for public money to fund corporate profit and assets?  OPINION: Wellington Airport’s CEO, Steve Sanderson, wrote glowingly (Dominion Post, June 25) of the benefits from extending Wellington’s runway 355 metres into Cook Strait. The homework has been done, the benefits are clear, the money will flow, the resource consent application has been lodged and all that remains is for Wellingtonians to make supportive submissions to the Environment Court, he writes. Who could disagree that tourism, student numbers and business ventures would benefit from better connectivity? But would a runway extension achieve such benefits? And might there not be better ways to invest public money for that purpose? The costings for the whole project are murky. For some years now the cost of the extension has been stated to be $300 million. It matters not whether the extension goes 300m into Evans Bay, as originally proposed, or 355m into Cook Strait, as now proposed. READ MORE: * Steve Sanderson: Extending the Wellington Airport runway is the only option * Wellington Airport has no ‘Plan B’ if $300m runway extension fails to fly * Airport claims not all planes need to be able to land on longer runway * Pilots challenge safety zones Read More …

NEWS Dom Post: Wellington Airport has no ‘Plan B’ if $300m runway extension fails to fly

By Michael Forbes  Wellington Airport says it has no “Plan B” in place if its proposed runway extension fails to get off the ground. Airport representatives have told Wellington city councillors they do not expect the $300 million project to have any problems getting resource consent. But if it doesn’t fly, there are no contingency plans. “You either build the runway extension or you don’t, airport chief executive Steve Sanderson said on Tuesday. The project’s main opposition group, Guardians of the Bays, has revealed it already has a dozen technical experts lined up to testify against the project in the Environment Court. It is preparing a community fightback similar to the movement that killed off the Basin Reserve flyover in 2014, and its members predict the airport’s “arrogance” will come back to bite it. The airport wants to extend its runway south by 354 metres to allow for direct long-haul flights to Asia, and possibly the United States. It expects the project will be publicly notified by the Environment Court at the end of the week, with a resource consent hearing likely in February 2017. Sanderson told councillors to expect plenty of “shooting down” of the project by various groups over the coming months, Read More …

MEDIA RELEASE GUARDIANS OF THE BAYS: Wellington Regional Council Questions Proposed Airport Extension Application

Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) is putting the proposed Wellington Airport Extension under much needed scrutiny, according to concerned business, community and recreational groups. GWRC has today revealed it is putting Wellington Airport International Ltd’s resource consent application ‘on hold’ while it seeks further information on more than 46 issues of concern, including economic impacts, traffic issues and effects on recreation, endangered species, the ability to surf in Lyall Bay and the construction process. Dr Sea Rotmann, co-chair of the Guardians of the Bay, an umbrella group working with residents’ associations, businesses and recreational organisations, said robust scrutiny of WIAL’s public relations was well overdue. GWRC have made two separate requests for information and has also informed WIAL that it needs at least one additional consent, for stormwater discharge. “Our City Councillors and most mayoral candidates have failed to apply any level of real scrutiny. It is pleasing to see that the Regional Council is taking the robust approach that we should have seen all along,” Dr Rotmann said. “Wellington City Councillors and most mayoral candidates have been too quick to just accept a “trust me” approach from a private company to what will be a significant ratepayer investment. We Read More …