Airport to pay for noise reduction measures

Queenstown Airport will offer Frankton residents a $2 million suite of home improvement packages to reduce aircraft noise in their homes.

The airport today announced plans to help more than 150 homeowners, offering to pay 100 per cent of costs for double-glazing, ventilation and other measures for 10 properties and 75 per cent of costs for 144 properties in the noise zones.

Three noise zones, which are subject to incremental change, have been designated to cater for projected airport growth to 2037. People in the first two zones, the inner noise and mid-noise sectors, will get help during the first phase.

Queenstown Airport chief executive Scott Paterson said homeowners would receive information packs this week. The next step was a procurement exercise for the works and the implementation of the first phase within two years.

Properties outside the first two zones but within the outer noise boundary do not get help - yet - because the existing building code provisions cover aircraft noise.

''We will be focusing on 150 homeowners to provide noise mitigation packages over the next two years. Ten homeowners [will be offered] full acoustic insulation, 140 homes 75 per cent of costs.''

Homeowners will get help or the full costs to install double-glazing, insulation and mechanical ventilation.

Airport officials and noise experts worked with a liaison committee, including Frankton Residents Association representatives, for the past six years.

''Queenstown Airport provides a gateway to the region for more than 1.2 million travellers each year and aircraft movements and passenger growth are projected to continue. We're very mindful of the impact this will have on our neighbours over the years and want to be pro-active in helping them future-proof their homes.

''Our plan will assist those closest to the airport to install appropriate measures to reduce aircraft noise as if it was already at our forecast 2037 levels.''

Noise modelling by the airport covers the first 150 homes until 2015 and the number of properties eligible for help is expected to increase to an estimated 380 homes by 2037. Financial help will be offered incrementally as the airport grows and the noise boundaries shift.

All of the 600 homes within the overall noise boundary will receive information packs from the airport and a public information session will be held on March 12.

The Southland Times