Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Airport Safety Must Have Priority Over Mega-Stores

20 June 2002

Green Transport Spokesperson Sue Kedgley today called on Wellington International Airport to delay its plans to build a new $30 million Airport Retail park next to the airport, and invest the money instead in upgrading Wellington airport's runway so that it complies with new international runway safety rules.

"Airport safety must come ahead of building 12 new mega-stores. The Airline Pilots Association has repeatedly expressed its concerns about Wellington airport's 'black star' runway, yet no action whatsoever has been taken" she said.

Ms Kedgley said the International Civil Aviation Authority had issued a new rule four years ago requiring all international airports to have a minimum run-off area of 90 metres at either end of any runway.

"Wellington airport's runway fails these new safety standards by a long shot. The runway is 30 metres short at either end. And at both ends there are a series of hazards - steep drops, boulders, power lines, traffic - which could turn a simple overrun at the airport into an aviation disaster."

Ms Kedgley said it was irresponsible that the Airport Company would potentially put lives at risk by failing to comply with new ICAO standards for runway safety areas, while at the same time spending $30 million on building a shopping complex.

Ms Kedgley said there had been repeated calls for the last 15 years to remove these hazards and bridge both ends of the runway. An expert study commissioned by the Wellington Airport board in 1994 recommended this be done 'without delay.'

"Instead of responding, successive airport boards have procrastinated, arguing that the airport company simply could not afford to spend $10 - 20 million upgrading its runway safety ends so they are safe and compliant with international safety rules.

"Now, having spent $85 million on a new terminal, it is proposing to spend $30 million on a new shopping complex. This is outrageous."

Ms Kedgley said the airport company's misplaced priorities were placing passengers at unnecessary risk.

"The Airport Company must put the safety of passengers ahead of commercial interests and forgo the shopping complex until the airport has a safer runway that meets international safety standards."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Scaring Voters Back Into Line

Fear has always been a useful mobilising tool in politics… yet in 2017, bogeymen of all shapes and sizes seem to have fallen on hard times. For years, the National party had painted itself as being the only reliable defensive bastion against the terrifying prospect of a centre-left government…

In fact, the polls suggest that the public seems to quite like the new government, its Prime Minister, and its proposed plan of action. Somehow, even though a Labour/Greens/NZ First government is in power, the sun is still rising and setting, on time. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Drinking Water As A Failure Of Political Leadership

It is almost possible to feel sorry for the Health Ministry in their terrible, no good, very bad week... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Saying ‘Work For The Dole,’ Nicely

As New Zealand First learned the hard way from its two previous periods in government, small parties in MMP coalitions get blamed for the unpopular stuff done by their senior partner in power, but no one remembers the good stuff the junior player brought to the table... More>>


Seismic Blasting: Greenpeace Launches Legal Challenge Against Amazon Warrior

A legal challenge against the world’s largest seismic oil exploration ship was launched at a public rally on Parliament Lawn. More>>


Tertiary: 80,000 People Eligible For Fees Free

The Government has today made good on its 100-day promise of delivering the first year of fees-free post school training and education and industry training from 1 January next year, says Education Minister Chris Hipkins. More>>


PM's Presser: Rebuilding Cathedrals, Felling Trees

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the press conference today with Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration Dr Megan Woods to announce urgent legislation this week for the rebuilding of the Christ Church Cathedral. More>>





Featured InfoPages