25 February 2014

Masterton Update

The group of Wairarapa business owners hoping to re-establish a Masterton to Auckland air service is pleased with the positive public feedback they have received. Since announcing plans to reinstate a commercially viable air service between the two centres last week, the group made up of key business leaders across the region, has received over 35 emails and dozens of phone calls from the public. "We have been really encouraged by all the feedback coming in from individuals who support our plans to reinstate the Masterton to Auckland air service. It's been overwhelmingly positive and one of the consistent messages we've received is how convenient a direct service will be for regular users so they can avoid the hassles and costs of driving and car parking at either Wellington or Palmerston North airports," said David Borman on behalf of the group. Last week Mr Borman and Colin Oldfield announced they and a group of passionate Wairarapa business owners had commissioned an independent feasibility study on the proposed new air link which is due for completion next month. The study will take into account scheduling, flight costs and the potential economic impact for the region. In addition the group is proposing a partnership with Vincent Aviation, a New Zealand-owned airline company based out of Wellington and Darwin in Australia. They are looking into the benefits of utilising Vincent Aviation's Saab 340 aircraft which seats 34 passengers and has one cabin crew and two pilots. The proposed flight would also be available for charter flights and has been sourced for its comfort, capacity and ability to work within confines of current infrastructure. The group driving the new initiative has evolved from the Masterton Airport Steering Committee. They also have the support of former Masterton mayor Bob Francis and are still calling for public feedback on the proposed air service. "We are very keen to continue to gauge public opinion and invite anyone to get in touch with their ideas or feedback. We particularly would like to hear from regular users of the previous service and receive more feedback and ideas from the business community," Mr Oldfield said. People can contact the group with ideas or feedback on how the new service may operate, or obtain more information by contacting David Borman on david@venturcon.co.nz.

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