Regional airports need different funding model

Regional airports need different funding model

Airline passengers and ratepayers can’t be expected to fund the necessary development of airport infrastructure away from existing major tourist routes says Justin Tighe-Umbers.

The executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), Mr Tighe-Umbers says the current one-size-fits-all funding of aviation infrastructure in New Zealand will not be sustainable.

“If New Zealand wants to spread tourists throughout New Zealand to help regional economic growth, aviation infrastructure will be part of the solution so that those visitors can cover distances within their travel time frames,” was his message to the CAPA New Zealand Aviation Summit for airlines and airports across New Zealand and the Pacific Islands and aviation leaders.

“Local government funding aviation infrastructure from small rating bases, coupled with airline landing fees, frequently leads to ticket prices that are too expensive for provincial routes to ever become profitable.

“New funding models, like central government investing either through the Provincial Growth Fund or subsidising certain routes that would then become contestable by airlines, should be examined as part of an overall aviation infrastructure strategy.”

For media enquiries, contact Justin Tighe-Umbers, Executive Director on 09 358 0696, or