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New Zealand’s regional airports highlight their importance

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Airports from around New Zealand met in Auckland yesterday for the inaugural Regional Airport Summit, to discuss the role of airports in lifting regional prosperity.

“New Zealand’s regional airport network is critical for economic development as well as social, emergency and medical connectivity for all parts of the country,” stated NZ Airports chief executive Billie Moore.

“The Regional Airport Summit is a response to a call to action from the government for industries to identify the areas where we can collaborate with the government for economic growth.

“Growth can’t happen without connectivity. The success of the government’s plans will depend on the extent to which airports can facilitate more business, higher value tourism and international freight.

“Regional airports are working hard to attract new airlines, increase international and domestic flights, develop freight links and charter opportunities, and upgrade their infrastructure to handle new and more efficient aircraft. But the policy and regulatory barriers are tough.

“The government can remove these barriers and provide tailwinds to this work in a range of ways – including through existing priorities like the Regional Infrastructure Fund, RMA reform and Electrify NZ, and by setting new expectations with border agencies and supporting aviation performance data for regional consumers.

“Airports are dedicated to the prosperity of their regions and want to work with Ministers and government agencies to inject ambition into how air connectivity can support the prosperity and resilience of our country.”

He continued: “We welcomed a commitment from Hon Simeon Brown, Minister of Transport, Energy, Local Government and Minister for Auckland to continue dialogue with airport leaders on these opportunities.

“We will review our progress on our ideas at the sector’s annual conference, the NZ Airports Hui, in Hamilton in November.”

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