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Wellington Airport returns under Commerce Commission guideline

11 Jul 2013

Wellington Airport released its 2013 performance results to the Commerce Commission today. With a return on its aeronautical assets of 6.23%, the airport remains under the Commission’s benchmark of 8% for the third year in a row.

“The Commerce Commission’s recent review of Wellington Airport’s performance noted that our current prices are in line with its acceptable range and this has always been the case,” said Wellington Airport Chief Executive, Steve Sanderson.

Earlier this year the Commission released its report on Wellington Airport and recognised its innovation, operational efficiency and high quality passenger experience, but had concerns related to future possible returns from 2015. 

Wellington Airport also announced today that it will start consultation with airlines over the prices to be charged for use of the airport’s terminal and runway services from 1 April 2014 onwards.

“This is to ensure that future prices, beyond 2014/15, are also in line with the Commission’s acceptable range,” said Mr Sanderson. 

“Wellington Airport is ranked in the top quartile in the world for similar sized airports and is committed to improving travel and tourism infrastructure and ensuring a world-class airport experience for local and international travellers. We are planning to invest $200 million in that experience over the next five years ,” said Mr Sanderson.

The average airline charge per passenger at Wellington is $11.59. This is forecast to increase by about 70 cents per year over the next three years, subject to the new consultation process announced today. This will provide:

  • A 6000 sqm  expansion of the main terminal  that will double the width of the south-west pier
  • Improved gate lounge facilities
  • Refurbished toilets
  • Replacement of 25 year-old fire trucks
  • Expanded baggage hall and better access to the terminal
  • Improved airfield engineering and compliance.

Since 2011, New Zealand’s three major airports have provided performance information to the Commerce Commission each year as part of regulatory compliance. This is so the airports can be compared on their performance in terms of efficiency, innovation and investment, service and profitability. 

Wellington’s charges are between those charged by Auckland and Christchurch airports, and in the lower range for airports in Australasia and worldwide in terms of cost per passenger.

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