Airlines wary of revised airport proposal

ALAN WOOD
Last updated 05:00 10/08/2012

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Airlines upset at a proposal by Christchurch International Airport to increase landing fees say the airport has moderated some of its demands but further analysis of working documents is needed.

Board of Airline Representatives NZ (Barnz) executive director John Beckett said his organisation had received a new proposal from the airport after pointing out significant concerns it had with CIAL's initial proposal.

Airline landing and passenger fees tend to be set every three to five years and usually involve complex negotiations as each side, the airlines and the airport, work towards common ground in terms of charges for the use of airport facilities.

When Beckett first spoke of an initial landing fee proposal put forward by CIAL in late March he said the structure put forward by the airport was discouraging. He was not even clear what the proposed landing fees were.

As a result, Barnz asked for more information, particularly around the new pricing tables put forward by the airport company.

Yesterday, Beckett said that information had been forthcoming but now Barnz and its experts were looking at the revised proposal in detail.

There had been some significant changes, including the accounting methods proposed for use.

"We're pleased that the airport has listened to some of the things they've said, but . . . we're going to have to analyse it before we're in a position to know what it amounts to," he said.

Barnz had to send back its own return submission by September 5, he added.

The Government owns 25 per cent of Christchurch International Airport. Council infrastructure arm Christchurch City Holdings Ltd owns the remainder.

The airport did not provide comment at the time of going to print.

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