02 October 2019

What does it mean when an airport is sold?

A family-run airline has been blindsided by the sale of the Kāpiti Coast airport it operates from. Air Chathams general manager Duane Emeny only found out about the sale when contacted for comment by Stuff - "I'm probably as surprised as you are." The airport was due to be re-certified with the Civil Aviation Authority - a process and cost carried by the airport owners - so his business could keep flying its Saab 340 planes. On Wednesday, Stuff revealed Todd Property Group had agreed to sell the Paraparaumu airport and surrounding land as part of a major nation-wide asset disposal including housing and retail developments. The sale, expected to be completed in November, includes residential developments Pegasus township in Christchurch, Auckland's Stonefields, and undeveloped land in Hawke's Bay and Whangarei. Todd Property Group directed all inquiries to the buyer, the recently-formed NZPropCo Ltd [NZPL], a New Zealand-based investment group. NZPL would not comment on what their plans were for the airport and other assets. Air Chathams began flying from the airport in August 2018 after the Kāpiti Coast District Council contributed at least $150,000 to get the airline off the ground. Air New Zealand had axed its local service in March 2018. Emeny said Auckland services running from the airport - 26 flights to and from the city every week ) - had been "building nicely" over the past year and the company was only now starting to see some returns on the venture. "But it would have been nice, and probably the polite thing to do really, if Todd Property had actually informed us of what their plans were, and perhaps given us the ability to front-foot it a little bit." There were restrictions with zoning around what could be done with the airport property, he said. In 2017, the Kāpiti Coast District Council eased District plan restrictions to allow for more development on the 85 hectares surrounding the 40ha airport. The rule change meant houses, supermarkets, a department store, industrial units, and multiple small food outlets could be built on land. The changes were challenged in court by the company behind Coastlands shopping mall but were struck out by a judge. Kāpiti Coast District Council CE Wayne Maxwell said on Wednesday the airport was significant to both the community, and the district's economy. "For our part, we would welcome a discussion with NZPropCo to understand its aspirations and look for opportunities to work together to help Kāpiti's air services continue to thrive." The airport and neighbouring Kāpiti Landing area was zoned Airport Zone with the land predominantly in the "Airport Mixed Use Precinct", he said. "This means it would be possible to develop commercial activities with controlled activity resource consent for any buildings. This would exclude retail activities which are more limited within an airport zone. "There is also an area within the zone identified for residential development. Again, this would require resource consent to progress." The council was currently processing one application for a site located within the Mixed Use Precinct of the Airport Zone. "This related to extensions to the Mitre 10 Mega building and was still under consideration." Kāpiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan said he was not concerned about the future of the airport and the purchase was a "vote of confidence" in the district. "If you look at those people [NZPL] they are big players, one at least is a global player which means they have significant future interest in the investment of the Kāpiti Coast."

1939: At the start of World War II, the Crown compulsorily acquires the airport under the Public Works Act.
1995: The original 131-hectare block is sold to Murray Cole and three other Kāpiti businessmen for $1.6 million. Original Maori and non-Maori landowners fight for compensation, believing the land should have been offered back to them.
2004: A parliamentary select committee calls for a government inquiry into the sale. An auditor-general's inquiry found the sale process flawed, but the price reasonable.
2006: Paraparaumu Airport Holdings, headed by Sir Noel Robinson, buys the airport for "well under $40m", announcing plans for a 30-year development.
2008: Kāpiti Coast District Council approves the redevelopment application.
2012: Todd Property Group, part of the family-owned Todd Corporation, takes a 75 per cent shareholding in a new airport company, Kāpiti Coast Airport Holdings, with Robinson having 25 per cent.

Source : https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/116263291/kpiti-coast-airport-sale-by-todd-property-group-comes-as-a-surprise-to-air-chathams


  1. Not hard to figure where this is headed with the new owners.

  2. I give up. Where’s it heading?

  3. Airport maybe covered in housing one day

  4. Has to be kept as an Airport or returned to the original Owners.
    Refer to inquiry into Sale of Paraparaumu Airport from when it was originally sold by the Government.