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Second Runway Supported

November 24, 2004

Second Runway Supported

Waitakere City Council has lodged a submission in support of plans for a second runway to be built at Auckland International Airport.

While the Council signalled concerns over environmental effects being managed, particularly with regards to the Manukau Harbour, it says that major infrastructure development in the entire region is long overdue.

Waitakere City Council has been pursuing the retention of Whenuapai Airbase as a commercial airport, and a decision is expected from Government within a matter of weeks.

Waitakere’s Chief Executive, Harry O’Rourke, says that for the same reasons as his Council (along with Auckland and Rodney) wants Whenuapai to be retained as an airport, it supports Auckland International Airport’s plans.

“We’re looking at the big picture here,” he says. “Properly planned and managed, airports can be major drivers for economic development. You just have to look at the growth around Auckland Airport in the last 10 years to see what can be achieved. Manukau City’s phenomenal growth is due in part to the economic activity generated by the airport, and it is that sort of economic boost that we want to see in Waitakere.”

The ability of even more people to access Auckland Airport on already congested roads is a concern, but Mr O’Rourke says he is confident that the resource consent process will mean that any commercial development associated with the runway will be carefully planned.

“There is no doubt that a region growing at the rate of Auckland can sustain two airports – the Whenuapai proposal and Mangere’s planned extension are all about offering economic opportunity and travel choices.”


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