Kāpiti Airport Heading For The Last Landing

Kāpiti Coast Airport says ‘very few Kāpiti Coasters are using the airport’ and, says KIN, its days could be numbered.

Paraparaumu Airport in happier days (2011)

“The community is simply not supporting it and they need to understand that we…cannot keep an airport running if people use it once or twice a year,” says the Airport company.

And it says the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce has painted a misleading picture of airport support

The Airport Company says: ‘Last month the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce was trumpeting that it surveyed its members and said more than 70% of them want to keep Kāpiti Airport open.

“What they didn’t explain was that just 61 of their more than 300 members completed the survey. To be precise, that’s 20% of their members or just 1 per cent of the 5385 businesses on the Coast.”

“And what they didn’t share in their media release were the full results. Those showed that of 57 respondents, almost 37% only use the airport once or twice a year, and 26% use it every three to six months. Just 7% use it weekly or even monthly.”

Many respondents using the airoort less often

“But perhaps the most telling was that nearly 40% of respondents had decreased their use of the airport,” Kāpiti Coast Airport chief executive Chris Simpson said.

“While a sample size as small as 61 people is, at best, unreliable, in this case it reflects what I see at the airport every day – that very few Kāpiti Coasters are using the airport.

“The community is simply not supporting it and they need to understand that we simply cannot keep an airport running if people use it once or twice a year.”

Lack of befits, says the Company

Another question the Chamber didn’t outline in their media release was that more than 62% of respondents said their business either did not benefit from having a local operational airport or they were unsure if it did.” he says.

“Kāpiti Coast Airport is actually a member of the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce. Each time the Chamber has moved to survey its members or speak about our business in the media, they have never reached out to us first to understand the issues we are grappling with,” says Chris Simpson.

“It’s a strange and deeply disappointing way to treat a member of their Chamber. It’s also incredibly short-sighted not to engage with us to understand the bigger picture here.”

For more information about the issues the Kapiti Coast Airport is considering, he says locals should visit www.kapiticoastairport.co.nz or contact chief executive Chris Simpson for a one-on-one meeting.

I cannot put into words my annoyance the short sighted view of our airport is taken by those who should be considering the wider and long lasting implications of closing it. Chamber of Commerce?? Doesn’t that say it all? Commerce.

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