NEWS: Wellington’s Miramar Golf Club could see half its land gobbled up by the airport in three years

By Ged Cann, April 24, 2018 Picture: MAARTEN HOLL Wellington Airport’s increasing demands for more space means it is looking at taking a big chunk of the Miramar Golf Club’s land. Miramar Golf Club could see half its land gone in as little as three years due to the expansion of  Wellington Airport. Wellington International Airport Ltd revealed provisional expansion plans at the golf club on Monday night, prompting some club members to call the extension a fait accompli. A need for more aeroplane parking space was the biggest driver, but new civil aviation rules requiring additional luggage screening techniques also contributed to demands for more space. GED CANN Wellington Airport chief commercial officer Matt Clarke and infrastructure general manager John Howarth present early plans for the airport expansion. The airport has the power to buy land as it sees fit, under the Public Works Act, but this could be appealed in court.  READ MORE: * Miramar Golf Club shrinks in Wellington airport growth plans * Wellington Airport expansion plan would displace social housing Airport chief commercial officer Matt Clarke said future designs had to be able to cope with the “busy hour” when highest air traffic occurred. GED CANN On the plan the purple area, which encroaches on golf course land, will Read More …

OPINION: THE AIRPORT’S DISREGARD OF PUBLIC SAFETY IS COMING UNDER SCRUTINY – YET AGAIN

A little over week ago, a white Subaru got washed off the Moa Point breakwater by a ‘rogue’ wave. Some reports said the car’s occupants were fishing “at the popular fishing spot”, whilst eye (and social media) witnesses said that 3 people were actually inside the car when the wave struck them. They had to smash their way out through the windows and were lucky to get out of the wild ocean alive. This is not the first time a car was swept off that breakwater, and people have died there in the past, according to locals. An airport spokeswoman wrongly claimed that the metal safety barrier had “recently been damaged by the storm or vandalised”. Now, that ‘barrier’ has long been broken, and the breakwater safety sorely neglected by the airport. As with the entire southern end of the runway, the breakwater is an eyesore full of dangerous rocks, akmons and crevices and open to the pounding southerly waves. We can often watch giant waves break over the entire runway end and the breakwater, with holes spurting water several metres high. We also often watch people fishing off the breakwater, including taking their vehicles up there. Most fishermen aren’t Read More …

SCOOP – Wellington Airport workers kept “in the dark”

Originally posted on Scoop Press Release – Public Service Association Wellington Airport managers must front up to serious questions over its response to Monday mornings earthquake – and how it communicated with other agencies, the PSA says.Wellington Airport workers kept “in the dark” during quake aftermath Wellington Airport managers must front up to serious questions over its response to Monday morning’s earthquake – and how it communicated with other agencies, the PSA says. PSA National Secretary Glenn Barclay says around a dozen staff from the Ministry of Primary Industries plus additional Customs and other workers were at the airport when the quake hit. “We have spoken to our members at Wellington airport and they are gravely concerned at what happened on Monday,” Mr Barclay says. “Our members have told us they are not well briefed on emergency procedures or evacuation plans. “This is a serious concern, especially considering Wellington Airport sits just 2 kilometres from a fault line.” Virgin’s flight VA108 from Brisbane landed 20 minutes after the first quake and MPI and Customs staff processed passengers and cargo with little information about their own safety. Mr Barclay says MPI staff stayed on duty after the tsunami warning was issued, 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 …

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 …

Keeping the Council and the Airport honest, or will Tangaroa have the last word anyway?

Over the last couple of months two important developments occurred regarding the proposed Wellington Airport Runway Extension: Its $90m co-funding by Council found its way into the LTP – despite significant opposition against it, but with some very important caveats Nature has shown us on several occasions just how insane the proposal is to put such vulnerable infrastructure into the Cook Strait. In addition, WIAL met with the directly affected residents of Moa Point to update them about the work they’re doing in relation to the airport extension. We will discuss these two points in separate blogs, so let’s have a look at how the Long-Term Plan consultation went first… Despite being touted as a great success by its proponents, with apparently only a ‘noisy minority’ of people opposing the $90m for the runway extension that was ring-fenced in the LTP, this really doesn’t stack up on closer scrutiny. Strathmore Park blog has written about this extensively, eg here, here and here, but it was clear during consultation that both the Council and WIAL got quite rattled once submitters started asking some difficult questions. The WIAL CEO went as far as swearing – twice! – during his oral submission when Read More …

The Airport Extension, how much is it really going to cost?

How can we sign off to pay for half if we don’t know how much it will really cost? Open Blog by Guardians of the Bays In light of the looming Long Term Plan submissions due today Friday, April 17, our citizens group the Guardians of the Bays have kept delving deeper into the various questions we would have liked answered before the Council decides to sign us up to huge generational debt, rate hikes and asset sales. A large chunk of these hikes (33%, or $90m of the WCC share in the proposed LTP increase, with another $60m coming from other regional councils) seems to benefit a private company (Infratil who owns the 66% of the airport shares not owned by the Council), who admits the extension is ‘not economic’ and thus not worth putting their 2/3 share of the money into. In fact, a recent article suggests that the commercial value of the extension is worth only $50m over the next 40 years and that the airport would need $50m a year in taxes alone from the airlines to pay for it! With the Mayors in the whole Wellington Region now coming out (without going through proper Council Read More …

Introducing the Guardians of the Bays

We are the Guardians of the Bays, a group of concerned Wellington residents. We formed this group in 2013 to counteract the seemingly gung-ho approach of the Wellington City Council (WCC) and the Wellington International Airport Limited (WIAL) regarding the long-touted extension of the airport runway – either to the North into Evens Bay, or, more likely again to the South into Moa Point/Lyall Bay. We are concerned that very important questions about the economic viability of the proposed extension have not been answered. Even though some of us are already detrimentally and disproportionally affected by the airport and its actions, we are not anti-airport or anti-progress, instead, we are concerned that very important questions about the economic viability of this project do not seem to be asked or answered by the proponents of the extension – foremost the Mayor, the WCC, and the Chamber of Commerce. In a series of blog posts we will attempt to take a closer look at these questions and demand answers from WCC and WIAL before they move forward relentlessly with this multi-million dollar project. In short, the most concerning questions are: What is the actual cost going to be? $300m has been touted Read More …