Let’s abandon this project immediately. It’s corporate welfare, and will be terrible for Wellington’s carbon footprint.
The majority owners of Wellington airport are Infratil, but it seems that the council is fronting all the investigation costs. I'd expect that to continue if the 300+ million dollar project ever got greenlit. It's because it's a bad idea, and the private sector know it. There are no countries of 5 million with three viable long haul airports. No airlines have expressed any desire for this to go ahead, and indeed Air NZ are strongly against the idea. I've always thought one of the charms of Wellington was watching surfers catch waves so close to the central city. Potentially destroying that for two long haul flights a week is not worth it at any cost.
This extension is projected to cost anywhere from 300 million to 500 million dollars. Infratil have never suggested they are happy to pay for this. Let’s not spend this money on this project. The project does not make commercial sense as in no country of 5 million are there three major long haul airports.
Climate Change impact
Long haul flights are one of the worst carbon polluters. We should not be enabling these.