Otago Daily Times

Ex­pec­ta­tion air­port fin­ished in decade

- KER­RIE WATERWORTH ker­rie.waterworth@odt.co.nz Christchurch · Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport · Christchurch International Airport · Docker

CHRISTCHUR­CH In­ter­na­tional Air­port ex­ec­u­tives have con­firmed to a Tar­ras res­i­dent they are hop­ing to have their pro­posed new Tar­ras air­port up and run­ning in a decade.

Chris God­dard said both he and his wife, Donna, had a two­hour meet­ing with the project lead Michael Sin­gle­ton a week ago.

He said Mr Sin­gle­ton at the meet­ing con­firmed Christchur­ch Air­port was work­ing to­wards a 10­year time­frame for the project which in­volved three years in de­sign and plan­ning, three years to seek ap­provals and three years to com­plete con­struc­tion.

‘‘The scope of the pro­posal feels like a sin­gle­run­way, 24/7 op­er­a­tion with on­site freight con­tainer­i­sa­tion,’’ Mr God­dard said.

Christchur­ch Air­port man­ager com­mu­ni­ca­tions Yvonne Densem con­firmed this week that 10 years rep­re­sented the start­ing es­ti­mate of a re­al­is­tic over­all time­frame for the new air­port be­com­ing op­er­a­tional.

‘‘Ex­act time­frames are dif­fi­cult to de­fine at the mo­ment, but will be­come clearer as we con­tinue our work.’’

She said they could not an­swer ques­tions about run­ways or hours of op­er­a­tion as they had not cre­ated a busi­ness case or full de­sign yet.

‘‘We will share those things when they are ready. The first step is to have con­ver­sa­tions [with Tar­ras res­i­dents] to help us un­der­stand what is im­por­tant to peo­ple so we can take that into ac­count when cre­at­ing those,’’ Ms Densem said.

The Otago Daily Times asked for the statis­tics or in­for­ma­tion sup­port­ing its case for a new in­ter­na­tional air­port at Tar­ras, given the ef­fects of Covid­19, flight shame and cli­mate change would be on­go­ing.

Ms Densem also said that Christchur­ch Air­port ex­ec­u­tives were ‘‘of the view peo­ple will con­tinue to want to travel into and out of the wider Cen­tral Otago re­gion into the fu­ture, so the re­gion needs an air­port so­lu­tion that can do the job for the re­gion in the long term’’.

Mr God­dard said a Tar­ras Res­i­dents’ So­ci­ety was likely to be es­tab­lished within a fort­night to help the com­mu­nity de­cide what a sus­tain­able plan for Tar­ras would look like for 2021 and be­yond.

‘‘There is a lot more to Tar­ras than whether we have an air­port or not,’’ Mr God­dard said.

❛ Ex­act time­frames are dif­fi­cult to de­fine at the mo­ment, but will be­come clearer as we con­tinue our work.

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