How much for 350m of new runway?

Wellington Airport wants to extend their runway by 350m…and they want the ratepayers or government to pay despite being a privately owned business.

They are coming up with all sorts of fantastical ideas and numbers to justify it all too.

The cost of flying long-haul in and out of Wellington could drop by up to 30 per cent, while the Government’s coffers could swell by $2 billion if the city’s airport presses ahead with plans to extend its runway.

But doing so will have consequences for Wellingtonians living and playing nearby, who may have to endure construction between midnight and 6am, and an expected reduction in rideable waves at Lyall Bay.

More than 20 reports to be published on Wednesday outline Wellington Airport’s case for spending $300 million to add 354 metres of tarmac to the runway’s southern end by way of reclamation.

Everything from the potential impact on airfares and the economy to the longer runway’s effect on air quality, noise levels and marine ecology has been put under the microscope.

Extending the runway would enable wide-bodied jets such as Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Airbus A350s to fly into the capital, opening up the potential for direct links to Asia and North America.

The reports forecast a daily long-haul service in 2021 growing to four flights a day by 2035.

Independent economic researchers Sapere calculated the net benefit to the country at just over $2b, meaning that, for every $1 spent on lengthening the runway, about $7 of economic benefit would be added.

David Farrar has already called bullshit on the fanciful flight claims.

But I really question the money calculations…especially when two blokes built a 3km long airport in Toowoomba in Australia for $200 million.

A year into the operation of Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport, co-owner and developer John Wagner insists the $200 million project is already proving a canny investment.

Wellcamp Airport, also dubbed Brisbane West to highlight its location about 140 kilometres west of the Brisbane CBD, became operational last November.

It was less than two years since the bold plan gained Toowoomba Regional Council approval and now stands in stark contrast to Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, which had its draft plan released by the Federal Government this week.

The first flights out of Badgerys Creek look likely in 2025 – more than 60 years after governments began talking about the need for a second Sydney airport.

Wellcamp represented a giant leap forward for Wagners, a family concern founded in 1989 by Henry Wagner with his sons John, Denis and Neill.

Wikipedia says:

Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport (IATA: WTB, ICAO: YBWW) is an airport in Wellcamp, 8.4 nautical miles (15.6 km; 9.7 mi) west from the CBD of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.

The airport and an associated aviation and business park is the brainchild of the Wagner family, a local prominent business family in the Toowoomba region. BWWA is the first major greenfield public airport development in Australia since Melbourne Airport opened in 1970. It is also the first privately funded major airport in the country.

The runway is 2870 m long by 45 m wide, and capable of handling aircraft to 747 size. The airport is rated at Code E, and can handle aircraft up the 747-400 and -8 models. The airport is estimated to have a catchment area of 344,000 people.

So, how come a 350m extension in Wellington is going to cost more than a nearly 3000m runway in Australia?

Is Wellington airport going to use concrete with gold flecks in it?

 

– Fairfax

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

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