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Wellington Runway Upgrade - Bridging Over Hazards

Wellington Runway Upgrade Must Include Bridging Over Runway Hazards - Kedgley

Green Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley today said a suggestion to cut Wellington airport's runway by 300 metres would be bad news for both the city of Wellington and the safety of passengers.

Ms Kedgley said she was opposed to a cheaper, alternative option for upgrading the runway that is being considered by airlines which would reduce costs by taking 150 metres off each runway end to use as safety run-offs.

Currently the airport runway is too short for 747 jets and if the option to cut 150 metres from either end of the runway was adopted, fully-loaded Boeing 737 jets would not be able to take off.

"Wellington is a great destination for international tourists and it would be silly to reduce the length of the runway and prevent 737's from landing at Wellington airport when there are safer, better options for upgrading the airport which would still allow the 737's to fly in," she said.

Ms Kedgley said she favoured the option that involves building a bridge over Moa Point Road and preferably over the northern end as well, and including these bridged over areas in the runway safety ends.

"Currently there are significant hazards at both ends of the Wellington runway and it is essential that these hazards are eliminated as part of any upgrade by bridging over Moa Point Road and removing major hazards such as trolleybus wires at the northern end," said Ms Kedgley.

"Otherwise the airport will remain unsafe."

Ms Kedgley said she would be horrified if plans to build the bridge to remove the hazards and extend the airport runway were not built simply to save $10 million."


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