PRESS RELEASE: City must end support for airport’s runway extension plan, say Guardians

April 15, 2019 News from Guardians of the Bays Wellington International Airport’s decision to withdraw its Environment Court application should mark the end of a protracted and costly process for ratepayers, according to community organisations and concerned Wellingtonians opposed to the project. The Airport first lodged its application for resource consent with the Environment Court in April 2016. That application was put on hold in April 2018 to allow time for serious safety concerns raised by the New Zealand Pilots Association (NZALPA) to be resolved. Those concerns have still not been resolved satisfactorily which is why the airport had to withdraw its consent application. Co-Chair of Guardians of the Bays Richard Randerson, representing more than 600 concerned individuals as well as other community and ratepayer organisations, said that Wellington Airport had run a protracted and flawed process since they first made the extension proposal. “There has neither been the demand nor the support for the Airport’s proposal. Wellington Airport has drawn down significant amounts of ratepayer funding for an Environment Court application that has tripped over itself at every turn. “The Airport is saying it is simply going to redo its proposal and resubmit. Given the many millions of dollars that Read More …

Media release: Wellington Airport’s proposed extension proposal still doesn’t stack up

A decision by the Environment Court to proceed with Wellington International Airport’s runway extension application is disappointing given the length of delays, increasing costs and strong public opposition, according to community groups opposed to the proposal. Richard Randerson, Co-Chair of Guardians of the Bays, representing more than 600  concerned individuals and community groups said Wellington Airport had run a protracted and flawed process. “It is now January 2019 – more than two-and-a-half years after the application was first made and yet key questions around safety and the business case are still unanswered. The Airport first lodged its application for resource consent in April 2016. That application was put on hold soon after as safety concerns over the length of the runway’s safety areas were still to be resolved in a separate court case initiated by the New Zealand Pilots Association. It was due to resume end of 2018 but the safety concerns have still not been resolved, with a delay of least another 5 months pending a ruling by the Civil Aviation Authority Director General. “At the time the Airport made its first application to the Environment Court, 525 of the 776 submissions were opposed to the runway extension, expressing Read More …

DOMINION POST: Wellington Airport runway extension plan staying on hold for six more months

By Tom Hunt and Thomas Manch, January 8, 2019 Sea​ Rotmann has six more months of uncertainty after a decision allowing Wellington Airport long-lingering runway extension application to remain on hold until May. Further down Rotmann’s seaside road, it is six more months of  sleepless nights and “wondering what the hell is going to happen” for Martyn Howells. The Moa Point residents’ lives have been thrown deeper into limbo after the Environment Court agreed to keep Wellington Airport’s resource consent application on hold, while it waits for a decision from the CAA director. In that December decision, the court made the unusual move of ruling against Guardians of the Bays – the group opposing the extension – but awarding them costs. READ MORE: * Wellington Airport could build wall at end of runway to extend safety area * Supreme Court deals blow to Wellington Airport runway extension plan * Wellington Airport lines up Chinese construction giant for runway extension * Airports group joins Supreme Court hearing to warn of risks from pilots’ safety challenge * Wellington Airport claims not all planes need to be able to land on longer runway ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF Sea Rotmann from Moa Point is unhappy, as the resource consent process for Wellington Airport’s runway extension has been Read More …

Opinion: WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A MOA POINTER, PART 2 – THE ENVIRONMENT COURT FILES

A few years ago, I wrote a blog about what it means to be a Moa Pointer. As much as I waxed lyrically about the “best sunset spot in town” and our amazing, if often endangered natural taonga, I have to highlight my prescience when writing these words: “It is important to note that not going through the fast-tracked board of inquiry process is an admission that they know they would fail. Going through the more protracted Environment Court hearings has nothing to do with a ‘more open and transparent process’ and everything with buying themselves time and bleeding the opponents dry due to the high costs associated with fighting a project like this through the Court. It also means many more years of this existential threat hanging over our heads, which is stressful in many ways – emotionally, financially and physically.” Why is this so prescient and what has being a Moa Pointer got to do with the Environment Court? Well, as we found out in yet another court hearing yesterday, this damned process will likely drag on for at least another 1.5 years – a total of 4 years since the airport first lodged its consent application – Read More …

NEWS Radio NZ: ‘Deja vu’ for Wellington Airport extension

[Ed: note that some typos and mistakes have been corrected and explanatory commentary has been inserted, where relevant] There will be no satisfactory outcome when a final decision on the Wellington Airport extension resource consent is released, an Environment Court judge has said. Wellington Airport Photo: Supplied At a judicial conference in the Environment Court, Judge Brian Dwyer heard from opponents who want the resource consent thrown out and Wellington Airport, who want a further six-months to file an application for resource consent. In March this year, the airport asked for proceedings to be put on hold until October as it dealt with a supreme court ruling about the proposed length of the runway, but now it wasn’t expecting a decision from the Civil Aviation Authority until May [Ed: not March] next year. Lawyer for Guardians of the Bay and Hue Tē Taka, James Gardiner-Hopkins said it was “deja vu” being back in the courtroom. He argued that the resource consent had been sought under a direct referral – where the consent is decided by the Environment Court rather than the local council – in order to speed up the process, but that had not happened. Many of the technical reports were out of Read More …

MEDIA RELEASE: Wellington International Airport should do the right thing and pull plans to extend runway

Media Release by the Guardians of the Bays An announcement that hearings for Wellington Airport’s runway extension could be potentially delayed till late 2019 should be a final nail in the coffin for the Airport’s proposal, according to community and ratepayer groups concerned about the mounting costs to Wellingtonians. Guardians of the Bays, representing almost 600 community and ratepayer organisations and concerned individuals, said it was time for the Airport to realise the project was unviable – from both, a cost and community perspective. The Environment Court resource consent process for the extension was put on hold in April and was due to resume this month. Guardians of the Bays Co-Chair Richard Randerson said: “Wellington Airport has tried desperately to stack up its claims that there will be an economic benefit from the proposed airport extension for Wellington without success. It has drawn down significant amounts of ratepayer funding for its Environment Court application.These delays will just be adding further costs to the ratepayer bill. There is already evidence that the proposal is likely to cost much more than the $300m originally suggested four years ago when this process started – up to $500m according to one expert.” “In addition, Read More …

SAFETY FIRST: WHAT THE SUPREME COURT’S DECISION AND THE PILOTS’ ASSOCATION’S WIN MEANS TO THE RUNWAY EXTENSION – AND HOW WIAL IS TRYING TO GET AROUND IT

Legal matters can be confounding to the lay person, to say the least, and the ongoing saga of the New Zealand’s Air Line Pilots’ Association (“NZALPA”) vs the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director (“the Director”) and Wellington Airport International Limited (“WIAL”) has been more confounding than most. This saga started back in at least 2013, when WIAL asked the Director of Civil Aviation to consider allowing a 90m minimum runway safety area (“RESA”) when extending the runway into Evans Bay, to the North. The Director agreed, based on WIAL’s provided cost-benefit analysis, that such an extension would only need the minimum 90m RESA. However, he also said that clear costings had to be provided first, and that the ruling was provisional only. NZALPA’s peer review of the cost-benefit analysis (CBA) provided by WIAL found significant short-comings (as have all other CBAs provided by WIAL since!). When the airport decided to instead put the extension South, into Cook Strait in 2014, it went back to the Director with assessments for a 100m, 200m and 300m extension, at similar costs as the $1 million per linear metre quoted to the North. The Director again accepted the airport’s reasoning that a 90m minimum Read More …

NEWS – Business Desk: Wellington Airport seeks resource consent delay as it re-applies for runway extension

By Sophie Boot March 19 (BusinessDesk) – Wellington International Airport has asked to put its runway extension resource consent application on hold for nine months, as it plans to re-ask the Civil Aviation Authority for permission for its plan. The airport, which is two-thirds owned by NZX-listed infrastructure investment company Infratil and 33 percent by Wellington City Council, is seeking the majority of the estimated $330 million runway extension cost from central government and Wellington ratepayers. The 355-metre runway extension would be an effort to attract long-haul flights from Asia and the US. In 2016, the CAA said a 90-metre runway end safety area (RESA) for the extended runway would be sufficient, which was disputed by the New Zealand Airline Pilots’ Association all the way to the Supreme Court, which rejected the airport’s planned RESA in December last year. International standards call for the RESA to be at least 90 metres, and, if practicable, at least 240 metres. According to the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s environment committee, the airport has asked the Environment Court to adjourn its resource consent application for the extension a further nine months, giving it time to “re-apply to the Director of Civil Aviation for approval Read More …

MEDIA RELEASE: Ratepayers Will Pay for Wellington Airport’s Folly

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1711/S00488/ratepayers-will-pay-for-wellington-airports-folly.htm Sunday, 19 November 2017, 2:27 pm Press Release: Guardians of the Bays Wellington Ratepayers Will Pay for Wellington International Airport’s Folly 19 November 2017 – Wellington International Airport is continuing its cynical campaign to shoehorn Wellington ratepayers into paying for a runway extension, despite having no airline, no business case and no eye to safety concerns raised by pilots, according to concerned ratepayers, community leaders and recreational groups. Guardians of the Bays, which represents more than 600 recreational, community and ratepayer members, says Wellington Airport’s announcement that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a Chinese company to construct the new extension shows it has little respect for the community or the ratepayers. Guardians of the Bays’ Co-Chair Richard Randerson says WIAL is trying to reinvigorate its extension plans on the back of the Government’s $1 billion regional development fund. “The questions that residents and ratepayers had prior to the General Election have still not been addressed. There is already evidence that the proposal is likely to cost much more than the $350m originally suggested, up to $500m according to one expert. “The Environment Court process is not completed, there are still questions about the safety of the Read More …

OPINION: Wellington Airport extension shouldn’t be allowed off the ground

By Dave Armstrong: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/98996698/Airport-extension-shouldn-t-be-allowed-off-the-ground?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=Twitter KEVIN STENT/STUFF There’s no money to build the runway extension at Wellington. OPINION: Last Sunday in Beijing, Wellington Airport signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a Chinese construction company and the China Express airline. Hallelujah! Wellington has the world’s biggest construction company to help extend its runway so millions of tourists can flood into Wellington. The parties will apparently work together on the extension, develop the airport area and market Wellington as a destination. Yet as Scoop website reminded us last week, our council signed a similar MOU with a different Chinese construction company in 2015. And remember the MOU that Celia Wade-Brown signed in China to build that lovely Chinese Garden that currently sits in Frank Kitts Park? Oops – what a civic embarrassment that has been. I’m sure there must be an old Chinese proverb about Wellington mayors who rashly sign MOUs ending up with gravel rash at election time. READ MORE * Wellington Airport lines up Chinese construction giant for runway extension * Airports group joins Supreme Court hearing to warn of risks from pilots’ safety challenge * Wellington Airport claims not all planes need to be able to land on longer runway But there’s just Read More …