° °
  • Firstline - TV3 New Zealand

    Firstline

    Weekdays 6am

  • 3 News - TV3 New Zealand

    3 News

    Nightly 6pm

  • Campbell Live - TV3 New Zealand

    Campbell Live

    Weekdays 7pm

  • 3rd Degree - TV3 New Zealand

    3rd Degree

    Wednesdays 8.30pm

  • The Paul Henry Show - TV3 New Zealand

    The Paul Henry Show

    Weekdays 10.30pm

  • Three 60 - TV3 New Zealand

    Three 60

    Sundays 9.30am

  • The Nation - TV3 New Zealand

    The Nation

    Sat 9:30am / Sun 10am

Calls for Wellington Airport to extend runway

Thursday 3 Jan 2013 5:23 p.m.

There is a renewed call for Wellington Airport to extend its runway as the world's fastest-growing airline, Emirates, says it may consider flying to the capital in the future.

The Middle East-based carrier can't land its fully loaded jets into Wellington at the moment because the runway is too short.

As winds gusted up to 140km/h in Wellington yesterday, a Qantas plane had trouble touching down. Running out of runway, the landing was aborted.

Currently flights like this from Australia are the longest routes flown into Wellington.

But the Wellington Chamber of Commerce wants to see long-haul routes fly into the capital.

“There are huge economic advantages in having long-haul capacity directly into Wellington,” says Richard Stone.

And Emirates, which already flies to Auckland and Christchurch, says it would consider Wellington. But a recent report by the Australian competition watchdog says the Dubai carrier is unable to add new routes here, “since its wide-bodied aircraft cannot land at other airports in New Zealand, including Wellington Airport”.

The Chamber of Commerce says that needs to change.

“I think we've got no option but to increase runway length,” says Mr Stone.

“There's some cost involved and some compliance issues involved, and I think we've got to get our head around those if we're going to advance the issue.”

The airport has planned for possible expansion in the future, including a 500m extension at the southern end of the runway and a 100m extension to the north.

Aviation commentator Peter Clark says that would be a waste of money.

“I think any changes in Wellington will not attract long-haul carriers. Wellington is a smaller airport catering for a smaller community.”

But Wellington Airport disagrees, saying 1000 people connect to long-haul flights to and from the capital each day.

And for now it's pinning its hopes on next generation long-haul planes like the Dreamliner, which can use the present runway, before it decides whether to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on an extension.

3 News

Others Are Watching

comments powered by Disqus

Trending

;