23 Apr 2017

Wanaka Airport bosses eye up return of commercial flights

7:45 am on 23 April 2017

There's a strong chance commercial flights will return to Wanaka, the Queenstown Airport Corporation says.

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Photo: RNZ / Lydia Anderson

The company has taken a long-term lease of Wanaka Airport and plans to expand its aeronautical maintenance operations.

John Gilks, who chairs the corporation, said he envisaged regular commuter flights from Wanaka to Christchurch or even Wellington developing in the next few years.

He says he would not rule out flights to Auckland in the next 20 years.

Passenger flights between Christchurch and Wanaka ended in 2013.

Meanwhile, some Wanaka recreational pilots are concerned airport fees could rise, now that Queenstown Airport has taken over Wanaka Airport's lease.

A spokesman for the recreational pilots, Shaun Gilbertson, said they were worried the corporation would raise fees for airport users.

However, Mr Gilks said airport users were protected by their existing lease agreements, which it would respect when it renegotiated them in the future.