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

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election