Airways plans on raising fees for airlines
The state-owned enterprise in charge of air traffic control is seeking to increase its capital expenditure and plans to raise the fees it charges airlines over the next three years.
Airways Corp chief executive Ed Sims told BusinessDesk the demand for upgraded technology to cope with booming growth from Asia meant more investment was required.
It had an annual $15m capital expenditure budget for new technology to run airports and airspace efficiently and it was projected to rise by up to 20 to 30 percent.
It would also review its fee structure for airlines flying to, from and within New Zealand.
Airways service and pricing manager Scott Scrimgeour says the impact of the proposed changes would be an average increase to airlines of around 1.2 percent a year over the next three years.
Direct services to Dubai, Qatar, and the Philippines have all been announced in recent weeks, along with greater competition on routes to the west coast of the US, all through Auckland.
"Our region is facing a period of unprecedented growth; the projected increase in traffic and airspace congestion will have a profound impact on safety, efficiency, environmental sustainability and the wider economy," says Mr Sims.
He says the growth in traffic into Auckland could be accommodated if Airways invested sufficiently in new technology to wring more efficiency out of the runway and the scheduling of planes waiting to take off and land.
"If we don't invest in the right technology and New Zealand finds itself where demand outstrips supply, I don't think that pressure would be too far away," he says.
"I don't know if it will get to the point of needing new airports. I don't see regional (domestic) aircraft growing at the same rate as international traffic."