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Infratil and Whenuapai Airport

16 Aug 2007

Infratil has today made an announcement relating to its shareholding in Auckland International Airport. Infratil also has a strong interest, along with Waitakere City, North Shore City and Rodney District Councils, in establishing civil airline operations at Whenuapai. This focus is unchanged by the announcement relating to Auckland

Infratil Chief Executive, Lloyd Morrison said:
"Infratil will continue to press for the commercial development of Whenuapai as a regional airport serving the fast growing northwest of the Auckland region with flights to New Zealand destinations, Australia and the Pacific Islands. It is a wonderfully located piece of existing infrastructure with the potential to benefit the greater Auckland region in many ways. It is complementary to Auckland Airport and does not threaten its commercial value
or viability."

Background Notes:
In 2002 Government announced that RNZAF operations at Whenuapai Airforce Base were to be consolidated to Ohakea within 5 years. The Airforce operation at the Base is the largest single source of economic activity within Waitakere City and Waitakere City Council undertook extensive research of the best option to replace the RNZAF when it moved. Civil aviation was identified as the best option.

In 2003 Waitakere undertook a process to select a partner in the development of civil aviation at Whenuapai. The partner had to have airport expertise, capital and experience in being able to partner with local government. Infratil was Waitakere's chosen partner.

In 2004 Government announced that the consolidation of military operations to Ohakea was to take longer than originally expected and it was possible that no decision about the Airport's future use would be made until 2014.
In 2006 Waitakere City and Infratil established an Airport Company through which they would progress their interest in establishing civil use at Whenuapai alongside the military operations. Rodney District and North Shore City were invited to also become shareholders in the Airport Company and to support its goals. Both Councils accepted the invitation.

North West Auckland Airport Limited is owned 75% by Infratil and 8.3% each by the three councils.

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