Q'town airport expansion - 84% against in Crux survey
*Updated with QLDC response.
A survey run by Crux has shown overwhelming opposition to the further expansion of Queenstown airport.
Just under 500 people took part in the survey with 84% saying they were opposed to further expansion. 16% said they support the airport increasing in size.
The Queenstown Airport Corporation is currently consulting with residents over plans to accelerate the airport's expansion by changing existing noise limits. Passenger movements through the airport could more than double from two million to five million if the full expansion plan goes ahead.
In our survey, over 220 people also commented on the airport expansion with the vast majority of comments being against expansion.
Many of the comments focussed on the fact that there was a risk to the quality of visitors' Queenstown experience if vital infrastructure was not improved before airport passenger numbers increased further.
Here are two typical responses.
Crux has forwarded both the survey result and comments file to the Queenstown Airport Corporation, Destination Queenstown and the QLDC for comment. * QLDC response received and published below that of the QAC.
The following response has been received from Colin Keel, Queenstown Airport's Chief Executive.
“Thank you for helping us facilitate the discussion about the airport’s proposed noise changes - we really appreciate the feedback you have sent us on behalf of your readers and will certainly add it to the results of our current public consultation.
We don’t want Queenstown Airport to lead the conversation about future growth in the district as we appreciate that we are only one part of the equation. However, because our projections show that we could reach our noise boundaries in the next 3-4 years, and in planning terms that’s a short timeframe, it was important for us to do some in-depth analysis of what the airport growth could look like over 30 years and try to determine what the community feels is sustainable. Long term planning is critical - we need to understand and shape what infrastructure and services need to be provided at the airport and when, and how these developments could be funded. It would be irresponsible to do nothing and just let the clock run out without having a discussion. We felt that it was important to share the information we have now about the potential implications of growth/no growth with the community, our shareholders, airport stakeholders and employees, and the business community so that they could let us know their views. We also encourage people to have their say as part of the initial phase of the proposal via our official online public consultation channel our.queenstownairport.com before 20 August.”
"Council is supportive of the additional opportunity for the community to input into the discussion and the comments shared are noted. Council will play a role in the decision making for the proposed noise changes and therefore it is not appropriate for us to make any comment at this time."