|27 February 2015 (amended: 27 February 2015)
The West Coast Council is moving forward with plans to expand the use of the Queenstown Airport.
Council resolved at its meeting on 17th February to maintain the primary purpose of the facility as an unregistered airport but to also include the area as a facility available to hire. This move is seen as vital in Council continuing its role in facilitating economic development opportunities with the potential to lift the profile of the West Coast and entice people to see Queenstown as a vibrant centre with multiple venues available for holding events.
The decision follows a recent trial period with an individual for motorsport activities at the venue. The trial successfully identified that the runway surface was not suitable to the trialled motorsport activities but highlighted that opportunities for uses beyond motorsport should be explored.
Council received several representations from residents, both supporting the move to expand the airport use and also voicing concern of potential damage or reduction in ability to serve as an unregistered airport.
“We have addressed these concerns and are clear that any potential use of the Queenstown Airport must respect the facility which will be maintained to a standard suitable for operation for its primary purpose of an airport,” General Manager Dirk Dowling stated.
In early February Council was successful in hosting a major motor vehicle brand at the airport to undertake a photo and video shoot for the national launch of a new vehicle.
Mayor Vickers has reiterated Council’s role in ensuring community engagement regarding the facility continues, “We will continue to seek input from the community and monitor event usage moving forward as we work towards developing opportunities to further build the West Coast.”