NEWS NZ Herald: NZIER savages Wellington runway extension plan

Analysis backing the proposed Wellington airport runway extension “grossly overstates” the benefits, understates the costs and is based on passenger projections that may be five times too high, according to two reports by the independent economic consultancy, the New Zealand Institute for Economic Research, commissioned by the body representing airlines flying in New Zealand. The $300 million project, which the airport’s owners want largely funded by taxpayers and Wellington ratepayers, “would be a wasteful investment and a drain on the national economy,” NZIER concludes. The Board of Airline Representatives of New Zealand released the report as part of its submission on the proposal to extend Wellington’s airport runway by 350 metres to allow long haul flights between the city’s capital and global aviation centres including Dubai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles. Read also: • Airlines shun longer Wellington runway • Wellington Airport not on longhaul radar – airlines • Safety fears over Wgtn airport expansion Of those five routes, NZIER suggests only one – Singapore to Wellington – might be commercially viable, and points out that it is already being achieved through a new Singapore Airlines service through Canberra, launching in September. Services to Malaysia, Thailand Read More …