Airports expansion plans concerns

Published on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Permitting airports to develop and accommodating too much tourism and population growth were the primary points which were condemned by the public in their submissions on the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s draft spatial plan.

On Friday, of almost 100 online submissions, none, apart from that of the Queenstown Airport Corporation and the Tourist Industry Aotearoa, supported expansion of Queenstown and Wanaka Airports.

The spatial plan – entitled Grow Well Whaiora – was designed by the council staff members, two government departments and Kai Tahu, to direct development in the district in the coming 30 years.

It highlights that airport development is at a “conceptual level” and additional work and community consultation are needed.

Frankton resident Terri Anderson submitted community reactions where Terri had already “resoundingly said no to airport expansion”.

Lilia Andrade, of Frankton, opposed to the anticipated growth of Queenstown Airport, which did not “enhance any of the four wellbeings the council is legally required to provide for, nor meet any reasonable definition of Growing Well”.

To quote Bruce Bassett, Tourism Industry Association representative, “very light” on airports and aviation and noted growth in the number of visitors and residents would require a “corresponding growth in air connectivity”.

“It seems to us that greater clarity about the demand levels and dual airport visions needs to be included in the spatial plan given the vital connectivity role played by air services.”

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