Early-morning Rugby Flights get Council Nod

19 October 2010

Up to 34 early-morning flights into Wellington Airport during next year's Rugby World Cup have been given resource consent by Wellington City Council.

The arrivals would be later than the long-standing early-morning noise curfew at the Airport. They would mainly bring local and international rugby fans back to Wellington if overnight accommodation is booked out in Auckland during the rugby tournament.

Warren Ulusele, the City Council's Development Planning and Compliance Manager, says 'non-notified' consent for the flights has been granted to Wellington International Airport Limited due to their intermittent and temporary nature over the six-week period of the tournament.

He says it is the opinion of Council planners and noise-control staff that the cumulative effects of the arrivals over the period would be less than minor.

Allowing the flights into the Capital during the District Plan-imposed noise curfew would also have positive effects both nationally and locally - and would contribute to the estimated $45 million that may accrue for the Wellington region from the tournament, Mr Ulusele says.

The flights have been discussed by the Airport's Air Noise Management Committee, comprising representatives of Wellington City Council, Wellington International Airport and members of the local community.

The consent specifically forbids any flight take-offs during the curfew period. In addition, the airport company will have to notify residents within the 'air noise boundary', and place notices in the print media, specifying the mornings on which the flights will arrive.