QLDC Confirms Airport Assessment Scope
Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) Chief Executive Mike Theelen has signed, and approved for public release, the scope agreed with MartinJenkins to complete the economic and social impact assessments of future airport development in the district.
“The agreement we have developed with the MartinJenkins team provides an outline of the context for these assessments, the deliverables we are expecting, and a revised timeline. We haven’t tried to define the ‘how’. As the experts in this space, that’s for MartinJenkins to develop the detail and they will build their analytical models based on extensive information and literature reviews. The findings will be complemented by data collection through focus groups and research surveys,” said Mr Theelen.
The findings from the assessments will be one of the sources that informs Council’s future direction on the QAC draft Statement of Intent and the draft Spatial Plan, as well as providing an independent social and economic perspective of the district’s airport infrastructure, including both Queenstown and Wānaka airports.
“The social impact assessment will include consideration of the environmental effects of different airport scenarios, recognising that this is a key concern for many. A more detailed assessment of environmental sustainability matters related to airport operations will be covered in Queenstown Airport Corporation’s own sustainability framework. A key focus of this internal review, currently underway, is the steps QAC is taking to offset and reduce the impacts of its business activities on the environment.”
Initial stakeholder discussions will be completed in January with wider activity being conducted in February with MartinJenkins’ team planning to engage with social and cultural groups, businesses, airlines, community support groups, and more to ensure all perspectives can be considered.
In keeping with the Mayor’s commitment that the community will have an opportunity to give feedback on the issues, an open online forum will be developed.
“The final report will be delivered by the end of April, but key findings will be provided to QLDC in March to inform time-sensitive decisions such as the adoption of the draft SOI and draft Spatial Plan,” said Mr Theelen.