Otago Daily Times

Expectatio­n airport finished in decade

- KERRIE WATERWORTH kerrie.waterworth@odt.co.nz

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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