Kāpiti Coast District Council to start negotiations with Air Chathams
Kāpiti Coast District Council has unanimously agreed to start negotiations with Air Chathams on a financial support programme designed to assist them in bringing their services to Kāpiti Coast Airport.
Mayor K Gurunathan says the support would be to help get the service up and running and based on the understanding that a Kāpiti to Auckland service is financially viable in the region and the anticipation that there would be no additional costs to ratepayers.
Council has been working to secure a viable Kāpiti-Auckland air service since Air NZ’s decision to withdraw services in March.
This support will include funding from Council’s existing destination marketing budget.
“The Council has agreed a maximum level of support it is prepared to offer over a start-up phase to help Air Chathams through that initial establishment in Kāpiti,” Mayor Gurunathan said.
“Council’s in-house and commissioned research demonstrates there is support for air services to and from Kāpiti, particularly the Kāpiti Auckland route.
“Colmar Brunton research told us 91 per cent of people surveyed supported efforts to re-establish the passenger service. That’s a mandate from the community that they want us to keep pushing ahead on this issue,” he said.
“Air Chathams expressed interest early on in providing Kāpiti with a service and has been working through all the technical and financial considerations.
“Any operator stepping in would be exposed to financial risk and some challenging government costs compared to other airfields. We, along with the owners of the Kāpiti Coast Airport want to help minimise this risk for Air Chathams.
“There’s still a lot to work through and we look forward to negotiating with Air Chathams and supporting them to bring an air service to our District.”
14 June 2018