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Airways Wins Iranian Airport Expansion Project

MEDIA RELEASE

5 December 2003 - for immediate release

Airways New Zealand Wins Iranian Airport Expansion Project

Airways New Zealand has won a major consulting project in Iran to assist with the expansion of the airport on Qeshm Island, two kilometres off Iran's southern coast.

Airways International - Airways New Zealand's international arm, together with Malaysian based Leading Edge Aviation Planning Professional, have already prepared an Airport Master Plan for the airport for the Qeshm Investment Development Organisation, proposing a wide range of opportunities for commercial development for the airport and areas for improvement to ensure that it met international civil aviation requirements.

The Iranian Government is developing Qeshm Island as a major free trade zone of industry, commerce, tourism and duty free shopping. To support these economic growth activities, the Island's 4200m runway - already one of the longest in the Middle East - is being expanded.

Airways International has now been commissioned to provide a further 18 months of project management and consulting services to improve and prepare the facilities for the expansion.

Airways New Zealand's Middle East Marketing Manager, Mike Tournier, thanked the New Zealand Embassy in Tehran and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) for their support in winning this contract.

"NZTE first spotted this opportunity and drew it to our attention, and the Tehran Embassy has since given us very valuable support at key moments. Ambassador Niels Holm met and held discussions with our contacts, and helped clinch the deal by attending the final presentation we made to the Qeshm authorities."

"Not all exporters realise what a terrific asset New Zealand's Embassies overseas can be in helping exporters like us establish our credibility with government organisations in other countries. And the Tehran Embassy has done everything possible to facilitate our marketing effort in Iran," said Mr Tournier.

Gavin Young, NZTE Senior Trade Commissioner for Middle East & South Asia says while doing business with Iran is certainly different than other markets, it is a matter of New Zealand businesses understanding how the market works.

"There are a number of New Zealand companies selling very successfully to Iran and Iranians value their relationship with New Zealand suppliers. Because of the sometimes complex nature of doing business and the less familiar banking system, Iran is a market for experienced exporters like Airways International."

Mr Young says in recent years New Zealand exports to Iran have moved from being dominated by the meat and dairy trade to include increasing volumes of technology and consultancy related products and services. In 2002 New Zealand's merchandise exports to Iran were worth $98.8 million, up 51% on the previous year.

ENDS


Background Information:

Lying only two kilometers of the southern coast of Iran in the Strait of Hormuz, Qeshm Island is being developed by the Iranian government as a major free trade zone of industry, commerce, tourism and duty free shopping by the Qeshm Free Authority (QFA). Industrial development has already commenced on the island, while the airport is to be expanded to support the island's economic growth activities to the site. A new airport along with a small passenger terminal opened on the island in 1997, providing at 4200m one of the longest runways in the Middle East.

Airways International, together with Malaysian based Leading Edge Aviation Planning Professional (LEAPP) prepared an Airport Master Plan for Qeshm International Airport under a commission from the Qeshm Investment Development Organisation (QIDO). The master plan proposed a wide range of opportunities for commercial development for the airport but also identified areas for improvement to ensure that the current and future infrastructure meet international civil aviation requirements. Subsequently as part of the ongoing commercialisation strategy for the airport, Airways International has been commissioned to provide 18 months of project management and consulting services to improve and prepare the facilities for expansion. These services include Aerodrome Certification, Airport Hazards Identification, Asset Valuations, Telecom and Power review

Assisting Airways in providing these services are LEAPP, Beca Ltd. and Teleconsultants New Zealand Ltd. Air services already link Qeshm to Tehran, and to Iran's other domestic ports, as well as to the nearby airports of Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. With the benefit of the planned road/rail bridge to the mainland and the opening of a deepwater container port, the aim is to develop Qeshm Island as a primary logistical hub between Asia and Europe.

ENDS

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