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Hamilton Airport runway approved to 3000M

12 August 2011 - Hamilton International Airport (“HIA”) has achieved a major milestone in its history with the announcement today that the airport has secured approvals and recommendations to extend the runway to just short of 3000m.

While there is no immediate timetable, the option to extend the runway has now been approved for the next 15 years.

Independent commissioners conducted the plan change and designation hearing at Waipa District Council chambers over three days in March and May and the hearing was concluded on May 30th. The runway designation and plan change have been the culmination of a detailed master planning exercise based on long term planning out to 2030.

The approvals and recommendations allow for an extended runway, taxiways, extended apron, associated air noise boundaries changes, and also includes land designations at both ends of the runway for the protection of runway lights and navigation aids to allow the implementation of instrument landing system high intensity lighting - in support of long haul wide body services.

In time, Hamilton airport’s vision is to become a low cost secondary airport gateway into New Zealand. Chief Executive Chris Doak says Hamilton Airport’s competitive advantage now is that it has the ability to extend the runway for long haul international connection for the central North Island. He says this allows Hamilton to become a low cost secondary airport gateway in and out of New Zealand in the future.

“There are clear parallels to the secondary airport models developed in other parts of the world including Gold Coast, Avalon, and Stansted airport in the UK”, says Mr Doak.

“Gold Coast’s approach to the Queensland market is particularly relevant given they have established a business case for secondary connection directly with Asia, even given their proximity to Brisbane airport just one hour up the road. It is clear that airlines require different airport sizes and locations to meet their needs. We believe Hamilton will be able to offer an airport that is very attractive to many international carriers in the future with an extended runway”, says Mr Doak.

“These are long term goals and this is not going to happen tomorrow. There is still significant activity required to complete the business case and capital funding models. Approvals will allow the airport to begin to identify suitable partners to help make this project successful. It represents a major milestone in the airport’s history of development”, he says.

Mr Doak says the next step for the airport is to examine and review all the conditions around the approvals and recommendations from the independent commissioners.

Airport Chairman John Birch says the approvals and recommendations by the independent commissioners are extremely positive news for the airport.

“We certainly hoped these decisions and recommendations would come out as they have. We are particularly pleased to have a 15 year approval window. With this part of the consultation and planning process completed the airport can now plan for the future with some certainty,” he says.

Mr Birch says the airport now has the option to extend the runway when the time is right.

“We think there is enormous value to the region in securing the ability to extend the runway at the appropriate time. Ultimately the timing of any extension will be driven by commercial fundamentals and the robustness of the business case,” he says.

ENDS

For the Q&A document regarding the runway extension please click here.

For more information contact:

John Birch
Airport Chairman
021 637 912

Chris Doak
Airport CEO
027 4313616.