Wellington Scoop
Network

Wellington should press ahead with longer runway, says John Milford

News from WECofC
The Wellington Employers Chamber of Commerce welcomes the economic impact report on extending the airport runway which shows clear benefits for the city, the region and for New Zealand.

This report backs up what the Chamber and many others have believed for some time that there are economic benefits from this initiative, says Chamber President John Milford. The extension has long been at the top of our members list of initiatives to help move the city and the region forward.

The report identifies several reasons for pressing ahead, including the fact that an influx of tourists, business people and international students could inject as much as $1.75 billion into the national economy, and $684m into the local economy by 2060.

But a surprise is the number of daily flights that would likely turn a profit running the newer wide-bodied jets out of Wellington – flights to Singapore, Hong Kong, or Dubai via Melbourne. Even a return service to Los Angeles and Kuala Lumpur three or four times a week.

That’s very significant because that it means more airlines will be attracted to Wellington and so the whole project suddenly becomes more feasible. It would mean everyone wins. The report also shows that having such services on our doorstep will mean big savings in international travel time for those in the airport’s catchment area. Saving an estimated one third in travel time and cost is a vital consideration for business.

This is great progress, its very exciting, and now we wait for the resource consent application to proceed.

As far back as 1960 the Chamber was advocating for an extension for international jet services, which delivered vital and ever-growing links with Australia, and today most our members still see direct long-haul connections as vital to the region.