Minister jets in for launch


The $1.65 million lighting project which paves the way for night flights at Queenstown airport was officially unveiled by Transport Minister Simon Bridges yesterday.

The minister says it’s revolutionary for Queenstown, for residents, business users and tourists.

“That means doing business here or from here becomes much more attractive. In terms of tourism and trade, it becomes much easier, much more convenient.”

Airport acting boss Mark Edghill says the unveiling is a major milestone for Queenstown. He also emphasises it would act as an employment boost.

“It will drive more jobs at the airport. We are going to move from a single-shift to a double-shift system because of the longer operating hours. So every organisation at the airport will have to take on new staff – so you will see more jobs throughout the airport.”

The new lights are just one element of a runway infrastructure upgrade, which included widening the runway to 45m and lengthening it to 1891m.

The first Air New Zealand night flight is planned for May 23. A flight from Auckland to Queenstown is scheduled to arrive at 6.15pm and return to Auckland at 6.50pm.

Otago Daily Times