Wellington Airport asking councils to restart runway extension application

An aerial map of Wellington Airport with a 355m runway extension to the south. On Thursday Wellington Airport asked the ...
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An aerial map of Wellington Airport with a 355m runway extension to the south. On Thursday Wellington Airport asked the city and regional councils to restart its resource consent application.

Wellington Airport will ask city and regional councils to restart its application for consent to extend its runway into Cook Strait.

The airport said would request Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington City Council to re-start the process on Friday.

On September 9 the airport asked the councils to put the process on hold, which was "a short pause to take some more time to review and consider submissions and finalise [the] application," a spokesman said.

Wellington Airport chief executive officer Steve Sanderson claims the company remains willing to discuss way to address ...
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Wellington Airport chief executive officer Steve Sanderson claims the company remains willing to discuss way to address concerns about its proposed runway extension with opponents.

"It is procedural."

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In a statement on Thursday morning, Wellington Airport chief executive Steve Sanderson said having reviewed the submissions "we're satisfied that we can appropriately address all key concerns through proposed conditions and management plans".

An Air New Zealand plane takes off from Wellington Airport.
JOHN NICHOLSON/FAIRFAX NZ

An Air New Zealand plane takes off from Wellington Airport.

"The Environment Court will need to weigh up these matters, the mitigation proposed and the overall benefits of the project when it comes to consider the application," Sanderson said.

The airport claims it has "widespread support from the business community, tertiary and education institutions, tourism organisations, the creative and film sector, and individuals" for the proposed 355m extension, expected to cost around $300 million.

However the majority of those who submitted on the extension were opposed.

When the process was put on hold, anti-extension group Guardians of the Bays, claimed the pause as a victory.

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Spokesman RIchard Randerson claimed the halt was "indicating something quite serious", pointing to the large number of submissions opposed to the extension.

"There's a significant number of questions raised about the process that haven't been properly addressed by the airport," Randerson said.

Sanderson said the airport remained open to discussions with opponents.

"As expected with any project like this, some members of the community remain concerned about aspects of the project. Of course we acknowledge that a project of this nature will raise concerns and we remain open to discussing additional ways of mitigating the effects of the project."

 

 - Stuff

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