Bri­tish avi­a­tion player wants to build hangar

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

A Bri­tish na­tional who owns the largest pri­vately owned and op­er­ated air­port in the United King­dom wants to set up a ‘‘sub­stan­tial hangar’’ and ac­com­mo­da­tion at Alexan­dra Air­port.

The Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil heard an ap­peal from property of­fi­cer Brian Tay­lor at its meet­ing last week for a ‘‘steer’’ on the air­port’s fu­ture on the back of ‘‘bal­loon­ing’’ in­ter­est from avi­a­tion oper­a­tors.

‘‘In­quiry kept on fol­low­ing in­quiry which proved a need to re­visit an ear­lier peer re­view con­cept plan for the de­vel­op­ment of the air­port,’’ Tay­lor said.

In­quiries from commercial and pri­vate oper­a­tors in­cluded strong in­ter­est by a Bri­tish na­tional cur­rently re­sid­ing out of New Zealand, but want­ing to erect a sub­stan­tial hangar and liv­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion in which to spend six months as a lo­cal res­i­dent, Tay­lor said.

‘‘He has wide in­ter­na­tional busi­ness in­ter­ests and a long in­volve­ment in commercial avi­a­tion, in­clud­ing own­er­ship of Cotswold Air­port in the UK, the largest pri­vately owned and op­er­ated air­port in Europe... It would be a strate­gic coup for Alexan­dra air­port to gain ad­van­tage of his enthusiasm and wide ex­pe­ri­ence in busi­ness and avi­a­tion, both as a pi­lot and ad­min­is­tra­tor.’’

Tay­lor said cur­rently the in­fra­struc­ture at the air­port was ‘‘ba­sic and in­ad­e­quate for fu­ture ex­pan­sion’’.

‘‘The sealed run­way has seen no main­te­nance to the pave­ment since it was laid dur­ing the 1980s other than the oc­ca­sional spray­ing for weeds break­ing through the seal and a two-me­tre wide strip be­side the run­way,’’ Tay­lor says in his re­port to coun­cil.

‘‘The tar­mac has be­come brit­tle through age and is sus­cep­ti­ble to chip loos­en­ing on air­craft touch­down, sharp turns or heavy brak­ing.’’

The es­ti­mated cost to im­prove those three ar­eas was $500,000.

‘‘The com­mu­nity can make a call on it, but I would like some

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