Former Air Force pilot, Tim Costley vows to fight Kāpiti Airport closure.
Reports that Kāpiti Airport owners are closing the airport is a kick in the guts for our community and region, National's candidate in Ōtaki, and former Air Force pilot, Tim Costley says.
"Chopping up Kāpiti Airport for residential sections is short sighted and the Kāpiti Coast District Council will be crucified if they allow any plan change to enable the sell off."
Mr Costley has flown to and from the airport for two decades. "I'm horrified that this could see a strategic asset gone forever.
"To try and blame Airways for removing their service next month is just a red herring.
"There's no reason the airport cannot continue to operate as it does today with or without an Airways presence. Whanganui Airport operates with no Airways system and it is far busier. Pilots I speak to are still very happy to keep flying at Kāpiti Airport, just as I would be," says Mr Costley.
"The community fought hard to get Air Chathams flights to Auckland and keep Sounds Air operating regular services. The airport also has a thriving local Aeroclub."
Mr Costley says the community needs the airport to connect Kāpiti to Auckland and the South Island.
"The region also needs an emergency airfield when Wellington airport is fogged in, or during Civil Defence emergencies. Kāpiti will be a critical hub if a major earthquake was ever to cut off Wellington from the Coast.
"This decision to close the airport in just five weeks without any community consultation is shocking. Blaming airport safety is a smokescreen to allow developers to chop up the runway for sections."
Mr Costley says he will fight this closure on behalf of our connected community.