Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Infratil Backs Prospect Of Successful Airport

MEDIA RELEASE January 20, 2004

INFRATIL BACKS PROSPECT OF SUCCESSFUL COMMERCIAL AIRPORT AT WHENUAPAI

New Zealand listed public company Infratil Ltd, a successful international investor in airports, says a commercial airport at Whenuapai servicing low-cost airlines has every prospect of succeeding, and stimulating development of an associated business park and other amenities.

Under the company's partnership agreement with Waitakere City Council it will contribute all of the development capital required to obtain the necessary consents and convert the present military airport to commercial use, if the Government gives the concept the green light.

In its submission to the New Zealand Defence Force, Infratil says this is likely to initially involve a capital contribution of approximately $50 million to upgrade the runway and terminal facilities.

The company says there is encouraging interest from airlines and it would be desirable to start developing the commercial airport as soon as possible while the Air Force winds down its operations. Infratil has experience in managing airports where military and commercial uses co-exist.

Infratil spokesman Tim Brown said today that a commercial airport at Whenuapai is not some "Westie" dream, but potentially a sound venture for an investor taking a long term view. It could deliver competition, meet changing airline industry needs, stimulate air travel by attracting new operators and providing material benefits for travelers.

"We have researched this carefully, and we would not be involved if we did not think the prospects for a successful commercial airport are encouraging".

The Infratil submission estimates that about half of the 311 hectare Whenuapai site will be required for commercial airport operations. Much of the rest of the site could be developed as an associated business park, possibly with some recreational and community facilities.

The submission says this will give the Defence Force a far better return on the land than alternative development proposals, which involve the destruction of the existing airport infrastructure. The more successful the airport, the more valuable the associated surrounding land will become.

"Our partner, Waitakere City, well understands the enormous positive contribution that a successful commercial airport, with an associated business park, will make to the northwest in terms of the economy and jobs." Infratil envisages that a commercial airport at Whenuapai would never approach the scale of Mangere, but that it could readily be the base for low cost air services to New Zealand cities and towns, to the east coast of Australia and destinations in the Pacific. It estimates Whenuapai could stimulate a market equivalent to 15% of the aviation market in Auckland in 10 years time.

Mr Brown says smaller airlines offering low cost, no-frills services, would welcome the lower cost structure of Whenuapai and its lack of congestion. These benefits would be passed on to customers.

" It is not as though Whenuapai is in some fringe location. These airlines realize that half the people in the Auckland region live nearer Whenuapai than Mangere".

Infratil, listed on the New Zealand Stock Exchange, has some 20,000 New Zealand shareholders and bond holders.

It owns 66% of Wellington airport, and has experience in managing environmental, social and civil aviation issues in an urban area.

It is also owner of Glasgow Prestwick International Airport in Scotland, one of the UK's fastest growing airports, which has more than doubled passenger numbers since Infratil acquired a controlling interest in 2001.

Infratil has a solid record of working in partnership with local bodies, and working closely with local communities. The company intends to work with local communities in Greenhithe and Paremoremo to allay their fears about noise from a commercial airport at Whenuapai. It says 80% of take-offs, which generate more noise than landings, will be to the west of the airport.

Mr Brown said it would be ludicrous to tear down the Whenuapai airport and breakup the runways without even attempting to create a commercial airport and business park.

"If we can't succeed, the Government can take the land back, and all of the other options will still be there", he said.

Mr Brown said the way forward was for the Crown, NZ Defence Force, Waitakere City and Infratil to work closely together to build up a successful civil aviation operation, and to use this at the basis for ancillary commercial development of the surrounding area.

(The submission can be downloaded from www.infratil.com

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news