Wellington’s economic prosperity depends on the strength of its connections with the rest of the world.
Tourism is a fast-growing sector of the region’s economy, supporting 16,000 jobs. Yet the industry’s potential for future growth is limited, because Wellington International Airport isn’t built for long-haul international flights.
The lack of long-distance direct air connections also reduces the region’s ability to attract international students and make business connections.
Wellington International Airport is proposing to increase the length of its runway by about 300 metres, allowing it to support direct flights to and from Asia and North America.
The runway extension is estimated to require an investment of up to $300 million. The Council has contributed to the funding for an application for resource consent along with the Airport. This is expected this year.
Independent economic analysis to date has found that, over 40 years, the extension has potential economic benefits to the Wellington region of between $389 million and $684 million in today’s dollars, and potential economic benefits to New Zealand of between $714 million and $1.75 billion in today’s dollars.1
These benefits would principally arise from growth in international tourism – estimated to be worth up to $1.3 billion nationally. Experience in other cities has shown that adding long-haul air services stimulates increases in inbound tourism by 50-100 percent or more within a very short timeframe.
Independent analysis commissioned by the airport has also concluded that the runway extension would support an increase in international student numbers. It is likely to reduce business travel times by about 33 percent on routes to and from Asia and North America, and reduce freight transport times. Find out more on www.connectwellington.co.nz.
A number of intangible benefits would arise from improved business-to-business connectivity – including improved knowledge-sharing opportunities, and better access to customers, suppliers, investors, and skilled labour.
56% Feedback received that supports our overall plan
391 Number of times people have told us what they think about this idea
55% Feedback received that supports this idea
#1 Out of 28 ideas based on amount of feedback received.