Airport statement knocked back

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Queenstown Airport Corporation’s statement of intent has been rebuffed again.

As it did at its meeting on June 27, the Queenstown District Council today voted to reject the company’s modified statement of its strategic direction for the next three years.

Councillors’ deliberations before a packed public gallery revealed a clear split in their views on how to approach the issue, with only Mayor Jim Boult and three councillors wanting to accept the document.

Their discussions followed an extended public forum at which 18 speakers urged councillors to reject the document on the grounds it did not reflect the community’s views on future passenger growth at Queenstown and Wanaka airports.

However, councillors voted unanimously to support a restatement of Mr Boult’s undertaking at the council’s August 8 meeting that changes to Queenstown Airport’s noise boundaries or the development of commercial services at Wanaka Airport would not be accepted until economic and social assessments and a sustainability review were completed.