02 July 2011

I'm dreaming of an International Airport

Invercargill - Aussie-city flights just 'pipe dream'

Dunedin - Poor demand forces cut in Dunedin-Sydney flights

Palmerston North - "Almost zero" chance of ever attracting international flights again

Napier - (has just extended its runway) Bay hopes out on a dead limb

Rotorua - (after extending their runway and getting an international service) Six flights between Rotorua and Sydney have been cancelled this month and next because of low passenger numbers.

Hamilton - Air New Zealand Axes international flights to Hamilton

Tauranga - (also able to take jet aircraft) Airport chairman and city Mayor Stuart Crosby said transtasman air services were not on their radar. It was not economical.

Whangarei - A lot more work is needed before an international airport becomes a reality in Whangarei... Not convinced there would be a market for an international airport.... It's something a lot of people dream about.

Hokitika Airport Ltd will find out early next year the full cost of the long-time dream of bringing passenger flights directly from Australia to Hokitika on a regular basis. The company yesterday called tenders for possible new designs for an upgraded airport, capable of handling international arrivals. According to the design brief, the airport company has set a deadline of March 31, 2012, for final costings for an upgrading of runway and terminal facilities that would handle low cost carrier operations, both domestically and internationally. The costs of increasing the runway length to a suitable length to bring in Bombardier Q400, Boeing 737 and Airbus 320 aircraft flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane are all being treated as “commercially viable”. As well as assessing the cost of extending the runway and terminal buildings, further commercial opportunities, by way of bringing air freight to Hokitika, will also be investigated. Airport chairman Bruce Smith said a number of other improvements would also have to be made. “There is a lot to do,” he said. Improvements would also have to be made to disabled facilities, the airport car park, security, a new baggage carousel, baggage handling options and office facilities.

How about trying to get an early morning Hokitika-Wellington and evening return service first??? How many Hokitika and Greymouth people drive to Christchurch to catch a cheap fare from Christchurch to the capital??? Or how many Greymouth people drive the 1 hour to Westport to catch a direct flight of 50 minutes to Wellington rather than drive 30 minutes south to Hokitika to catch a 35 minute flight to Christchurch and wait for however long to catch a 45 minute flight to Wellington???

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