10 August 2010

PPQ TWR - Who Pays?

The Civil Aviation Authority has been challenged to go halves on the cost of a staffed control tower at Paraparaumu Airport. The CAA has recommended that the airport needs a staffed control tower, which has delayed an Air New Zealand service between Paraparaumu and Auckland. Kapiti Coast mayoral candidate Chris Turver is calling on the authority to share the cost of its "eleventh-hour" decision. "The CAA should have made the decision when talks began with Paraparaumu Airport Ltd two years ago on requirements for upgrading the airport to take Air NZ commercial flights. "To spring this on PAL so late in the piece not only adds extra cost but will now put back PAL's timetable for starting the daily service to Auckland and delay its ability to earn revenue." The airport said it would comply with the recommendation for a flight information service but it would mean extra fees for airport users. It had planned to start the service in February and still hoped to get it up and running as quickly as possible. Airport owner Noel Robinson said there had been many hurdles put in front of the proposed $430 million airport-business park development and this was another that it would work through. The company was poised to spend $1.2m on resealing the runway, but the work was now on hold while it waited to find out from Airways New Zealand how much the control tower service, to be run by Airways, would cost. The CAA said it was a regulatory authority and did not fund flight information services. "It is none of our business."

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