Airport growth plan accepted by QLDC
"It's time to move on" was the sentiment expressed by councillors at today's QLDC meeting, in accepting the Queenstown Airport Corporation's controversial 2019 annual growth strategy - or Statement of Intent (SOI).
The Council will look to insert a "freeze" clause into the SOI - to reinforce a verbal undertaking by the airport to not undertake any expansion while a council Economic and Social Impact report is prepared.
Today's meeting did agree to set up a Steering Group that is designed to be an interface between Council and Airport. Previously the exact relationship between the two had been blurred - on the one hand being at arms length and on the other showing signs of close collaboration at management level.
The Steering Group will involve Councillors Penny Clark, Quentin Smith and Glyn Lewers - along with Mayor Jim Boult. As Councillor Craig "Ferg" Feguson observed - "at long last we'll be face to face with the Airport Board."
Wanaka's Niamh Shaw and Niki Gladding from Glenorchy both voted against the SOI adoption.
The SOI has previously been rejected by council as failing to pay sufficient attention to community concerns over airport expansion and an increase in the frequency of flights, as well as the large scale development of Wanaka airport.