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Airport Confirms $5 Domestic Passenger Levy

Issued by Waikato Regional Airport Limited

News Release

December 20, 2006.

Airport Confirms $5 Domestic Passenger Levy

Hamilton International Airport today confirmed a $5 development levy on departing domestic passengers will proceed on January 8 as planned.

The decision follows careful deliberation by the board following Air New Zealand's decision to mount a challenge in the Auckland High Court seeking a judicial review over the levy.

The challenge, based on six separate but related grounds of review, is not expected to be heard for some months.

Mr Rickman said that the board had taken appropriate legal advice and believed that the company was fully justified in implementing the levy as planned.

The levy is required to cover debt servicing of the new terminal development costing $15.5 million.

Of this $10.5 million was attributable to providing services to domestic passengers and the interest costs related only to the domestic portion.

"The airport is confident that we will be successful in defending the proceeding," he said.

However, in the event Air New Zealand's challenge was successful, the levy would be refunded to passengers if appropriate.

The airport would be asking all domestic departing passengers to retain their levy receipts so that refunds could be claimed later if required.

The airport's five shareholding councils, Hamilton, Matamata Piako, Waikato, Waipa and Otorohanga, fully support the board in its decision to proceed with the levy.

Meanwhile, talks with Air New Zealand over landing and terminal charges would continue over the next few months.

These charges have remained unchanged for the past 12 years and were well below those at other regional airports.

ENDS

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