So, the Council approved the latest Statement of Intent from the Queenstown Airport at its meeting on Thursday. KPCA made a submission during Public Forum reminding Council that, at its meeting in February this year, it had insisted the Airport must not plan on the basis of expanding the established air noise boundaries (see our blog of 26 February). We invited Council to take the opportunity when considering this SOI to reiterate its determination that the Airport lives within its existing noise boundaries, rather than leave it over until July 2023, the earliest the Airport thinks it might want to expand them as a consequence of COVID-19.
In approving the SOI, Councillors appeared to consider the undertaking not to apply before July 2023 was sufficient assurance for the time being.
What was more significant, perhaps, was the recognition around the table that Council need to do more to define the strategic objectives of the Airport as a key Council controlled infrastructure asset. (See Councillor Niamh Shaw’s explanations, posted both before and after the meeting). Council agreed that the document in which those objectives should be spelt out, its Statement of Expectations, should be considered at its March meeting next year. That will be the next opportunity for the public to have its say on what is proposed. Watch this space!