13 Oct 2015

$10,000 bonus for Wellington airport neighbours

3:57 pm on 13 October 2015

Wellington Airport is offering 21 homeowners a $10,000 payment as part of its proposed runway extension.

Virgin plane landing in Wellington Airport.

A plane lands at Wellington airport. Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Airport communication manager Greg Thomas this morning gave 33 percent airport shareholder Wellington City Council a progress report on the proposed $300 million extension.

That included offering 21 homeowners at Moa Point, at the tip of the airport, $10,000 each as a solatium payment.

"A solatium payment is very much a consideration for inconvenience caused as a result of the project to date," Mr Thomas said.

"They can still oppose the project,or support the project, there's no binding agreement on that whatsoever."

The airport has said the extension would promote economic growth and offer better services for central New Zealand. It would enable planes to fly direct to Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

It believes passenger numbers justify the development, with passenger numbers up 18 percent year-on-year and to nearly the one million mark.

Mr Thomas said it had been canvassing the views of those most affected, including local residents, surf clubs and iwi, since June.

In the past month the airport had sought comment from these groups on a handful of key reports, which would be widely available when public consultation started next month.

Mr Thomas said the airport would also be releasing its draft cost benefit analysis next week which would be given to officials at Treasury, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, airlines, the Wellington City Council and the Wellington Economic Development Agency.

He said they would get feedback on that, before it was made public next month.

Once the public had had their say the case would head to the Environment Court, with a decision expected by the end of next year.

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