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Reliability to Improve – Kapiti Airport Open Day

Kapiti Airport held an open day on the 3rd of March, there was a fantastic turnout with thousands of people coming to see our airport. Air New Zealand bought down a Q300 aircraft to be featured at the event. This gave everyone the opportunity to take a look at the inside of the aircraft. A few helicopters and other small aircrafts were also brought in to display at the event.

Air New Zealand Q300 on the tarmac at Kapiti Airport

This is the first time that the mayors of Kapiti, Porirua and Horowhenua have come together to promote a regional asset. A representative of What’s On Kapiti was present at the open day, and was able to get some words with the Mayor of Kapiti and the Chamber of Commerce. These comments were about the event and its significance to the economy and the people of Kapiti.

Kapiti airport has great potential due to its location, and is far more efficient for the people of Kapiti to use than Wellington airport. Business people, however, have found the airport to, in some cases, be unreliable. We asked Heather Hutchings from the Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce, about whether or not we would see an improvement on this in the near future. She told us that in order to increase the reliability of the airport, we need to make sure that more people are booking flights in and out of Kapiti Airport.

“Air New Zealand run a business, and at the end of the day if we can’t get bums on seats we will lose it”, she stated, “we need to make sure that those planes are full, passenger-wise, 80% of the time, not full only 60% of the time!”

People waiting to see the planes at Kapiti Airport Open Day

Mayor of Kapiti, K. Gurunathan, has stated the success of the airport will indeed be looking up in regards to a whole range of things. This is because the transport links to the airport are being developed so Kapiti Airport is in the centre, so more people will be taking advantage of the airport and booking their flights from Kapiti, rather than Wellington.

Gurunathan told us that Kapiti Airport was “a wonderful wonderful asset to have”, in regards to both business and the benefit of the general public. “People from outside can come here, it’s a great place to live and a great place to do business, and that’s what makes the place grow.”

Air New Zealand Q300 at Kapiti Airport Open Day

The idea to run an open day for Kapiti Airport was first initiated by the Kapiti Chamber of Commerce, whose main focus was to help increase the relativity of the airport to residents in Kapiti. Hutchings says that the use of the airport is a part of our economic development growth, especially with the new expressway coming through. Thus making it a whole lot easier for people in Porirua and Horowhenua to take advantage of the airport here as well.

Hopefully this open day will help to raise public interest towards the potential of this airport.

“This open day is actually for drawing attention to the people of what a valuable resource we have here, because an airport is critical for a whole lot of things; we want to show people that you can get to Kapiti from Auckland, from Blenheim, from Nelson…” the Mayor told us, “…once transmission gully is opened up in 2021, we will have a very quick link to Porirua. So, all these people can then use this airport!”

Plane at Kapiti AirPort open day.

“It’s going to be quicker for people in the Hutt to come and fly out of Kapiti, other than driving into Wellington and paying lots of money to park at the airport in Wellington”, stated Heather Hutchings in an interview with What’s On Kapiti. She has also agreed that parking will be a whole lot cheaper at Kapiti Airport than at Wellington Airport, an additional benefit to not having to sit in traffic for hours whilst heading in and out of Wellington.

“People from outside can come here, it’s a great place to live and a great place to do business, and that’s what makes the place grow.” – K Gurunathan, Mayor of Kapiti.