Exploring a new airport
Airports are intergenerational assets and exploring the creation of a new airport is a detailed and complex task.
Successful airport planning provides a framework for airports to develop in response to changing needs over a long period of time. The success of that long-term thinking can be measured by how well the airport meets its immediate needs, while also adapting to changing trends, developing in stages to meet evolving demand.
Airport planning is future focused, providing a balance between reliance on known technological advances in areas such as air traffic control, avionics and security, the possibility of innovation enabling new ways of operating an airport, as well as the transition of New Zealand’s aviation network to a low carbon future.
Airport planning also takes into account New Zealand and international regulatory requirements for airport operations. For this assessment the key regulatory reference is the Civil Aviation Act 1990, and its replacement the Civil Aviation Act 2023 which will come into force during the life of this project. These Acts set out requirements to enable the certification of an aerodrome, as well as the Civil Aviation Rules and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards and recommended practices.
There will also be numerous land use planning and environmental regulations to consider as the project moves closer to a gateway decision on whether to seek approvals.
The key features of a safe and efficient airport at the proposed site are considered to be:
Airport is relatively free of infrastructure constraints
- a single runway of at least 2,200m and up to 3,000m,
- associated taxiways and aircraft parking aprons,
- fully compliant 240m runway end safety areas,
- resilient to natural hazards including those associated with climate change
Airlines have the ability to match best aircraft to route
- maximum flexibility to enable airlines to use the wide range of aircraft anticipated to be in operation at the airport over its lifetime.
Airport infrastructure enables green aviation
- ability to use the latest generation of aviation technology to maximise safety and efficiency and to mitigate the effects on communities and the environment.
Airport infrastructure enables operation efficiencies
- ability to incorporate smart technology and innovation to enhance the user experience and improve reliability of flight schedules by enabling safe operations to continue during low visibility conditions.