Airport economic spinoff $274 million
Queenstown Airport and its relationship with supply firms, resort infrastructure and tourism pumps $274 million a year into the economy, according to industry research.
An economic impact study by the New Zealand Airports Association, announced at a conference in Marlborough yesterday, was the first national assessment of the direct and indirect economic contribution of airports.
Nationally, airports represent 25 per cent of the New Zealand economy, contributing $419m directly to gross domestic product (GDP) and $40 billion indirectly, the report says.
Thirty-three airports were studied and the research found Queenstown and Hamilton airports combined contributed 7 per cent of the industry economic input.
Auckland was the largest provider followed by Christchurch, Wellington then Queenstown
The value to the economy from Queenstown Airport was $6.5m a year and 98 direct jobs.
Including the supply chain of associated airport firms the economic benefit was $99m.
"Other economic effects of Queenstown's airport, including firms in the wider area, domestic and international tourism, business travel and imports and exports, total $274m."
Nationally, more than 12,645 people were employed by airports and the air transport industry, and 61 per cent of the economic benefit was provided by Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington international airports.
Association chief executive Kevin Ward said he was surprised by the scale of the sector's economic contribution.
He said the research clearly identified for the first time that airports made a significant contribution to the New Zealand economy.
"It highlights to me the importance of protecting the role of airports as economic generators and providing for their growth in the future.
"Airports play a crucial role in tourism, unlocking economic opportunities, bringing in foreign capital and providing export opportunities, and provide a critical service not only in international business travel but in linking regions with business opportunities in other regions.
"Significant business also goes on within the environs of airports. But something that really came out of the research is the very considerable added value airports bring to regions and communities."
The researchers, who used financial data, official tourism figures and air transport industry information, found that most of the economic benefit was derived from tourism.
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