Soaring noise bill

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Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) could pay up to almost $16 million for noise mitigation packages if plans to extend its aircraft noise boundaries go ahead.

There are 99 homes within the airport’s proposed inner-noise boundary that would be eligible for full acoustic treatment funded by QAC, at an average cost of about $107,500 per house.

There are also 300-350 homes within the proposed mid-noise boundary. The airport intends to offer 75 per cent funding towards the estimated cost of $20,000 per house for full mechanical ventilation.

Homeowners in this boundary who accept the airport’s offer will be expected to foot up to $5000 of the bill per house.

QAC could fork out up to $10,642,500 for mitigation packages in the inner-boundary and as much as $5,250,000 in the mid-boundary, if offers are accepted by all eligible homeowners.

QAC comms boss Jen Andrews says the cost of mitigation works in this boundary is “adjusted for each property” depending on design requirements.

“There are large cost variances to fully mitigate houses in the inner-noise boundary as there are a number of factors to take into consideration.

“Some houses are mostly complete as is and just need some acoustic enhancements added, others cost significantly more to mitigate.”

The corporation will also offer to buy the 34 homes in the loudest zone closest to the airport, which airport boss Colin Keel previously said could cost “tens of millions” of dollars.

QAC sent letters offering noise mitigation packages to 107 properties in early June – 84 in the current mid-noise boundary and 23 in the current inner-noise boundary.

It received responses from 38 homeowners by the end of June, asking to proceed with the design phase before choosing whether to accept.

joshua.walton@scene.co.nz