The Detail

Queenstown Airport Corporation wants to expand their air noise boundary (ANB) to triple scheduled flights and double passenger numbers at Queenstown. They last did so in 2008, to accommodate projected growth to 2037.  They say they are close to hitting that boundary within a couple of years. 

QAC’s current “dual airport strategy” would see Queenstown and Wanaka Airports collectively hosting 7.1 million passenger movements per year by 2045.  Or more realistically by 2030, judging by their aim of hitting the 2037 cap at ZQN within a couple of years. 

The air noise boundary is the only definitive control our council (majority owner of QAC) and community have on QAC growth aspirations. QAC would first need our councillors to agree to this in their annual statement of intent.  Our councillors have control over the strategic objectives of QAC through this strategic document.  Secondly, QAC would need consent under the Resource Management Act. 

The ANB is based on a theoretical “bucket of noise” over 24 hours. So quieter, bigger planes would mean more people than the 5.1 million QAC currently suggest is sustainable for Queenstown Airport.

Switching from A320s to A321s, there is still room for 1.6 million more passenger movements a year within the current ANB. Technology reducing airplane noise by 75% is being developed now. These capacity and technology improvements have not been drawn in to QAC plans. So we can expect a lot more than the 7.1 million passenger movements QAC suggests.

Our search for clarity in QAC’s plans and QLDC’s response continues. We will update our website and Facebook information as we can. But for what we know right now, check out the following links:

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