Queenstown Airport releases 10-year strategy

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Airport operator Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) has released its 10-year strategic plan for Queenstown Airport in New Zealand.

One of the key decisions of the strategy has been to plan for moderate and sustainable growth and not to seek an expansion to the existing Queenstown Airport noise boundaries. The company reports that advances in aircraft technology, including Air New Zealand’s introduction of new engine option-powered A320 and A321 aircraft means quieter planes flying into Queenstown Airport (ZQN). This is expected to be a positive development for the community and the potential to manage growth in the years ahead within its noise boundaries.

The airport’s plan is intended to support the recovery of the local economy with domestic and trans-Tasman links which support businesses in the Southern Lakes region and connect the local community with New Zealand and the world. According to QAC, sharing the strategic direction with the communities of the region is an important milestone before it embarks on a consultation on its draft masterplan with the key stakeholders including the community.

QAC committed to the development of this 10-year strategic plan in its statement of intent for financial year 2022 and to regard feedback from the council prior to recognizing the plan. During the process, QAZ will consult with local communities, as well as the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), Airways, its scheduled airline customers and non-scheduled aviation operators, its commercial tenants and the business community. The company also intends to consider and satisfy important safety obligations, both aviation and seismic, and meet regulatory compliance obligations.

Adrienne Young-Cooper, board chair of QAC, said, “Queenstown Airport and the company’s related assets are majority owned by Queenstown Lakes District Council. In developing the strategic direction for the next decade we’ve reflected on the company’s essential role in contributing to Aotearoa New Zealand’s air transport services, and the well-being of local and regional communities now and into the future. As we move into recovery, it’s timely to think deeply about the future of aviation, the associated challenges and opportunities and plan for an airport that is future-ready and continues to contribute to the social and economic well-being of the district over the long-term.

“In the coming year as we prepare our long-term masterplan and implement our decarbonization roadmap, we have a collective opportunity and responsibility to plan for an airport for the future that serves the region well. An airport masterplan is a holistic technical document that presents a long-term view. The QAC board and management team recognize the significant opportunity we have to shape the future of our airport in partnership with our shareholders and the people of the region and to become an innovative airport that people love to travel through, and the community takes pride in.”

Glen Sowry, CEO of QAC, said, “Recently the QAC team created a new vision and mission with our aspirations for the future in mind. Our mission is to proudly connect our home with New Zealand and the world. Our vision is to be an innovative airport that people love to travel through, and the community takes pride in. This vision and mission has served us well as we’ve developed our strategy. We have taken the opportunity to meet with a wide range of stakeholders across the airport campus and wider region. Three pillars have emerged in our strategic plan: resilience, experience and community. Everything that we will achieve and the contributions we will make are encapsulated within these pillars. We have carefully considered the insights gathered through our engagement over the last year and sought to achieve the right balance between economic and social benefits to the region alongside environmental priorities.”

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