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Whenuapai Airport Promoters Congratulate Hamilton

Whenuapai Airport Promoters Congratulate Hamilton Airport On Upgrade Plans

The promoters of commercial airline use of Whenuapai Airport have congratulated the management of the Council owned Hamilton International Airport for its just-announced $21 million upgrade plans.

"What Hamilton is doing reinforces our concepts for Whenuapai" says Bryan Mogridge, chairman of Waitakere City Council's Mayoral Task Force on Whenuapai.

"The Hamilton development is about focussing on the customers with airlines and airports working to meet the needs of local communities. Budget airlines are looking for efficient and readily accessible airports to help them package attractive fares and stimulate air travel. There is an international trend for airlines to provide point-to-point services as this is what passengers and freight customers want."

"Virgin Blue have just announced that international passengers through Christchurch Airport increased 30% in February since the airline began flying out of there at the end of January. Our partner in the Waitakere proposals, Infratil, has seen spectacular increases in passenger numbers through its Prestwick Airport in Glasgow, as a result of budget airline RyanAir. AirNZ Express has also been a huge success." Mr Mogridge said he was interested that the Hamilton airport company has also announced plans for a $30 million industrial and commercial development on unused airport land.

"Communities thrive when they are better connected to the outside world, and business wants to be located at the point of connectivity, for obvious reasons so do those businesses whose activities are directly connected to serving the airport and associated activities".

"We have exactly the same concept for associated industrial and commercial development at Whenuapai. We know it will create strong economic activity and jobs, introduce more tourists to our area and help compensate for an annual $230 million loss to our community from the Air Force pulling out."

Mr Mogridge said that, like Hamilton, Whenuapai would be a regional airport, probably flying fewer planes in a week that Mangere currently flies in a single day, and offering flights domestically and to Australia and the Pacific.

"Many more people live close to Whenuapai than live close to Hamilton airport, which suggests there should be no concern about the potential for a viable commercial airport at Whenuapai. Hamilton, in fact, demonstrates that smaller airports, backed by local councils in the interests of their community, can thrive, expand and act as a magnet for businesses, creating wealth and employment."

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