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Airports Association welcomes Queenstown evening flights

New Zealand Airports Association welcomes Queenstown evening flights decision

New Zealand Airports Association (NZ Airports) has welcomed the decision by aviation authorities to approve the process that is expected to result in evening flights into Queenstown.

New Zealand and Australia’s civil aviation authorities have given the green light for the foundation safety case for after-dark flights into Queenstown Airport.

NZ Airports Chief Executive Kevin Ward said that the move, which could see after dark flights into the resort destination by winter 2016, could boost the already significant contribution the airport makes to the local and national economy.

“We believe evening flights will be a very attractive proposition for travellers and for local businesses,” said Mr Ward.

“We were already aware of the crucial role Queenstown Airport plays in the local economy, through our research into the economic and social contribution of each of New Zealand’s airports.

“Ultimately this decision could lead to more visitors to Queenstown and to people spending extra nights there, with all the additional ongoing benefits for travellers and the local economy.”

The NZ Airports research, carried out by Market Economics Ltd, identified for the first time the full impact New Zealand’s airports have on our economy, with Queenstown a key contributor.

In 2012, airports contributed $200m directly to GDP but that increased to $40bn when taking into account the flow of benefits into communities.

Queenstown is a significant contributor to the New Zealand economy ranking behind Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Mr Ward said: “Airports also generate significant employment. Over 12,645 people are directly employed by airports and in air transportation, while around 78,810 work within airports. However, once the flow-on benefits into other industries are taken into account the overall number of jobs generated is estimated at more than 710,000.

“Currently more than 300 people are employed at Queenstown airport but the flow on effect of the airport into other businesses in the community means the overall positive impact on employment in the region is far greater.

“The foundation safety case will now need to be progressed and after dark flights into Queenstown are still at least couple of years away but this is tremendous news for Queenstown Airport and the Queenstown community.”

ENDS

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