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UF backs keeping Whenuapai as airport

21 May, 2004

UF backs keeping Whenuapai as airport

United Future is throwing its backing behind retaining the Whenuapai airbase as an airport, its transport spokesman, Larry Baldock, and two Auckland MPs, Paul Adams and Bernie Ogilvy, announced today.

"This is a huge piece of infrastructure that exists to do the job - and frankly New Zealand is not a country overburdened with infrastructure," Mr Baldock said.

"It would be incredibly short-sighted to give up this opportunity for a second airport to serve the northern hub of Auckland. Of course, it must stack up in terms of business viability and the likes," he said.

"And a second substantial airport brings with it the possibility of more airlines operating in New Zealand and lower landing fees, which means cheaper fares via more competition," the said.

"Many of Auckland's problems have been caused by a lack of long term vision from our leaders, and with the city's current growth it would be absolutely ludicrous to lose such a facility as Whenuapai," Mr Adams said.

"This is an existing substantial airport that already has airlines wanting to use it, and companies prepared to pay the costs to develop it," he said.

"What with lower landing fees, and a large growing population surrounding it, this would equate to cheaper fares via more competition, not to mention less congestion on our roads," Mr Ogilvy said.

"At a time when Auckland road transport needs are being worked on, including the upper harbour upgrade, it makes absolute sense to funnel a large number of our domestic air travellers to a central airport.

"Many North Shore residents are tired of the two-hour drive to Mangere during peek Auckland traffic," he said.

ENDS


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