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Wellington Airport Takes Further Step toward Safety Areas

6 May 2004

Wellington International Airport has taken a further step toward creation of runway end safety areas (RESA) by lodging a planning application for works at the southern end of its runway.

The proposal for the southern end of the runway involves creating a traffic underpass for Moa Point Road to allow additional areas of pavement, relocating the instrument landing system and changes to the layout of taxiways. Construction will take at least 14 months to complete at the southern end of the runway, once approvals have been received. Options for works at the northern end are still under consideration.

Simon Draper, Chief Executive of Wellington International Airport, said "We have decided to take a lead on RESA and in doing so we have considered public interest in aviation safety. In the process, we consulted with airlines and regulators on how to best provide additional safety precautions, while also ensuring that Wellington's runway is not reduced in length".

RESA works within the airport boundary do not require special approval. However, the works over Moa Point Road and the southern sea wall area will require planning consent. Wellington City Council will publicly notify the application and there will be opportunities for submissions.

Consultation to date with interested parties has shown general support for the works and Wellington Airport is proposing to establish a construction liaison group to work with adjoining residents while the RESA is being constructed.

The cost of the total project is forecast to be $15-20 million. While this will impact costs to airlines, the price impact on customers is expected to be minimal compared to the comfort that can be drawn from a further safety precaution at the airport.

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