22 March 2024

The Issues for the Use of Masterton

Passenger Air Service - Survey Query

For the record, following the release of the results of Business Wairarapa’s survey on interest in a passenger air service, the Times-Age asked for comment on discussions with Air Chathams and the nature of any possible financial input from the Council. The following response was provided, attributable to Chief Executive Kym Fell.

There are several things the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) requires before any regular passenger service operates from Hood Aerodrome. CAA requires an Aeronautical Study to be completed, a Safety Management System (SMS) to be in place and Certification of the Aerodrome. In addition to this, CAA requires a Safety Case to demonstrate that the aerodrome has an acceptable Runway End Safety Area (RESA) for any aircraft over 30 seats to operate.

Our conversations with Air Chathams are at an early stage and we have also been approached by other airlines. What is important to our region is having an air service which meets the needs of our community, is sustainable and makes the Wairarapa more accessible. With the exception of the RESA (Runway End Safety Area) Safety Case, all work underway will enable Hood Aerodrome to support the return of any regular passenger service by an aircraft under 30 seats.

While we have not discussed commercial terms with any airline, we could support a scheduled passenger service through landing fee concessions, use of the airport terminal and some assistance towards marketing, but that would be the likely extent of financial contribution from the Council.

Source : Masterton District Council, 20 March 2024

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