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Merits review judgment clarifies info disclosure methodology

12 December 2013

Merits review judgment clarifies information disclosure methodologies

The High Court judgment released last night clarifies some technical aspects of the methodology set by the Commerce Commission to review airport performance and returns.

“We are reviewing the Court’s comprehensive findings and welcome the Court’s acceptance of the airport’s appeal in relation to the starting point for the valuation of land being in 2010. The judgment is unlikely to have an effect on how aeronautical charges are determined or how performance information is presented to the Commerce Commission,” said Steve Sanderson, Wellington Airport Chief Executive.

“Wellington Airport’s return on aeronautical assets already falls well within the Commerce Commission’s guidelines for acceptable returns.”

The airport released its 2013 performance results to the Commerce Commission in July with a return on its aeronautical assets of 6.23%. This is the third year in a row that the airport remains under the Commission’s benchmark of 8%.

Click for big version.

Wellington Airport also announced earlier this year that it is currently consulting with airlines over the prices to be charged for use of its terminal and runway services from mid-2014 onwards.

“This is to ensure that future prices, beyond 2014/15, are in line with the Commission’s methodology and acceptable range.”

Since 2011, New Zealand’s three major airports have provided performance information to the Commerce Commission each year as part of regulatory compliance. This is so the airports can be compared on their performance in terms of efficiency, innovation and investment, service and profitability.

Wellington Airport’s charges per passenger are in the mid-low range in Australasia and worldwide. Over the last fifteen years the airport has invested $300 million to ensure a high level service for passengers, which have doubled to 5.4 million over the same period.

The airport is planning to invest up to $250 million over the next five years which includes:

•            A 6000 sqm  expansion of the main terminal  that will double the width of the south-west pier
•            Improved gate lounge facilities
•            Refurbished toilets
•            Replacement of 25 year-old fire trucks
•            Expanded baggage hall and better access to the terminal
•            Improved airfield engineering and compliance.


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