Ready for take-off


Queenstown Airport’s $19.7 million upgrade for night flights is almost done.

The now 45m-wide runway is covered with 10,000 cubic metres of asphalt, weighing 25,000 tonnes.

Over the next two weeks, government air navigation company Airways will test and calibrate 200 new or repositioned lights - connected by 25km of wire - on the runway, taxiway, approach and apron. It’s also upgrading its air traffic control tower support system.

Queenstown tower chief Clayton Lightfoot says helicopter inspections at night start mid next week.

“It should be an impressive sight.”

Forty-five people from Downer NZ, Beca, Airways and Queenstown Airport Corporation worked on the runway over 100 nights and 90 days.

Acting airport boss Mark Edghill says it’s a major milestone. “They’re on time and on budget as well.”