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Hundreds of individuals, airlines, and residents’ associations have spoken out in opposition to Wellington Airport’s plan to build a 355 metre runway extension.
The Airport’s resource consent request for the project received 776 submissions, with 525 opposing the construction of the extension.
Air New Zealand and Qantas both said that, despite potential economic benefits, the investment in infrastructure would likely result in increased ticket prices which has the potential to reduce demand, thus having negative economic impacts.
Other individuals were concerned about the environmental impacts as well as the construction noise and cost of the project.
Some submitters also referred to the Airline Pilots’ Association concerns regarding emergency stopping areas on the runway.
Applications in favour of the extension primarily point to the opportunity for economic growth. Parties in favour include, Weta Workshop, World of Wearable Arts, as well as tertiary institutions such as WelTec, Whitireia, and Victoria University—who hope it will help them gain a larger stake in the international student market.
Mayoral candidates Jo Coughlan, Justin Lester, and Nick Leggett are also in favour of the extension.
The submissions will now be heard by the Environment Court as part of the resource consent process.