Q’town airport offers promise of growth freeze and no share sale [Crux, 23/10/20]

The latest draft Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) Statement of Intent has been published by QLDC in advance of a vote next week by elected councillors and it offers major concessions that, without Covid19, might be seen as a victory for anti-expansion lobby groups.

On the other hand, the QAC proposes increasing its debt levels to $87 million by 2023 compared to a current $69 million.

The major points are:

  • No ZQN noise boundary expansion during the term of the SOI
  • More recognition of climate change
  • The purchase of Lot 6 has been provisionally agreed with Alastair Porter for $18.34 million – much less than Mr Porter wanted.
  • More community consultation in the future
  • Wanaka airport spend will only be to maintain what is there already.
  • No new QAC shares will be issued. QAC says it can fund itself from debt and existing cash flow – however, to be reviewed annually.

The QAC passenger forecast show the severity of the passenger traffic collapse post Covid – but does foresee an improvement over the next three years.Screen Shot 2020 10 23 at 1.11.15 PM

Source: Queenstown Airport Corporation – SOI, October 2020

 The decline in air traffic is matched by an increase in proposed debt. A dividend to QLDC as a major shareholder is not forecast until 2023 – and even then at the low level of around $2 million.Screen Shot 2020 10 23 at 1.20.47 PM

Read this in full here

Read the full draft Statement of Intent here.

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