Wellington Airport welcomes ANA 777 charter flight direct from Japan
This morning Wellington Airport hosted a direct flight from Tokyo for a Japanese delegation who are visiting the Capital. The ANA charter flight is a Boeing 777-300ER which is a wide-body long haul aircraft.
Wellington Airport has previously catered for other wide-body aircraft such as the Qantas A330 during the Rugby World cup. While Wellington’s runway enables some long haul aircraft to land with a commercially viable load, the existing runway length limits the maximum available take-off weight. The additional fuel required to reach long haul destinations means that the number of passengers and cargo are restricted on flights beyond Australia.
As announced last year, Wellington Airport is studying the options to extend the runway and is aiming to lodge the application for consent in early 2015.
“One of the first milestones we are working towards is to confirm the engineering feasibility of extending the runway. So over the next three months engineering design and costs will be developed for options to extend north or south,” said Steve Sanderson, Wellington Airport’s Chief Executive.
“Extending the runway will enable direct long haul flights for Wellington’s existing market and open up growth opportunities not only for the region, but for New Zealand.”
“There are a number of economic development initiatives for Wellington in the pipeline; some are at the idea stage and others such as the conference centre are being further scoped. Direct international connections will support the potential and growth for these initiatives. Currently the lack of connections is constraining the region with negative flow on effects at a national level.”
An initial economic study showed compelling benefits from extending the runway and a further independent study has been commissioned into the economic impact for Wellington, the region and New Zealand.
There are many gates to go through, project streams and reports necessary before lodging the application for consent. Over the course of the year the airport will produce reports for the consenting process, including:
· Economic benefit to Wellington, the region and New Zealand
· Extension options that look at both north and south directions.
· Engineering design and cost
· Review of feasible alternative airport locations in the region
· Ecological impact assessment
· Noise, traffic and urban impact
· Landscape assessment
· Social, cultural and recreational impacts
· Archaeological assessment
Once the airport has undertaken the comprehensive assessments and design it will initiate public wide consultation and feedback.
“It is expected that the proposed extension and impacts will be presented for public consultation later this year. We are looking forward to consulting with stakeholders, airlines, civic partners, our local community, businesses and the region.”