Climate factored in airport plans [ODT, 16/01/20]
Climate change remains firmly in place as a factor to be considered as part of studies of airport expansion options in the Queenstown Lakes District.
The Queenstown Lakes District Council yesterday released the contract it has signed with Wellington consultants MartinJenkins.
One of the ‘‘deliverables’’ states: ‘‘environmental impacts of airport operations, including consideration of climate change and reputation’’.
As well as other factors for and against airport development, the contract says analysis of the impact of climate change was ‘‘clearly an imperative to consider’’.
Climate change will need to be addressed in both studies to be done — the social impact assessment and the economic assessment.
In June, the council voted to declare a climate emergency and adopted a draft climate action plan.
The assessments have been called for as part of the debate over airport expansion, and MartinJenkins is required to consider four airport scenarios.
The most contentious has been the proposal by the council’s majority-owned Queenstown Airport Corporation to increase traffic into Queenstown Airport and develop Wanaka Airport for commercial flights.
The others are the development of a new greenfield airport, with the closure of Queenstown Airport and no development of Wanaka Airport; the distribution of air traffic to Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill with little or no growth at Queenstown or Wanaka Airports; and no growth at Queenstown Airport and the development of commercial flights at Wanaka Airport.