Runway End Safety Area (RESA) – Gets Green Light
Queenstown Airport’s Directors this week approved the construction of the RESA at the Shotover end of the Runway. Mark Taylor, Chairman of QAC said “The RESA is critical to maintain trans-‐Tasman flights into Queenstown, and finally, after over 2 years of planning, we will commence construction in November, with a completion date prior to the deadline of October 2011”.
The RESA will be constructed starting at the base of the Shotover Delta using 760,000m3 of engineering fill to give a 90m safety end to the runway. The runway and RESA is some 45m above the Shotover Delta. The majority of the fill will be sourced from Remarkables Park (RPL).
“We were pleased to be able to provide the QAC a solution to the RESA issue,” said RPL director Alastair Porter. “This is a lateral solution that underwrites the Airport’s ability to get the RESA in place in time. We are pleased to have been
able to work with the Airport as a team to achieve a result that secures the Airport’s international capability.”
The RESA earthworks means a large area of the top terrace of Remarkables Park’s land will be lowered on average by approximately three metres. The volume of earthworks is the equivalent of around 70,000 conventional truckloads of dirt.
“The beauty of this is that it’s a local solution that when completed will fit in naturally with the existing terraces. From an operational perspective the dirt will not be transported by public road so bigger off-‐road vehicles can be
used to cut costs and reduce the number of truck trips.”
QAC also acknowledge the help of QLDC who agreed to allow access to land owned by Council in the Shotover Delta and at the top of the terraces. The parties also worked together on mutual interests around services, Designations and consents. There is also provision for a trail around the RESA and along the top of the riverbank providing access and recreation for cyclists and walkers.
The RESA also provides for the establishment of the Eastern Access road around the outside of the RESA by October 2011. This will replace the existing paper road that currently runs close to the end of the runway.
Steve Sanderson said, “All in all the agreements and associated resource consent provides a very efficient solution for building the RESA at minimal cost and will result in good use of the area around the RESA and airport.”
From an open tender process the construction contract has been awarded to Fulton Hogan. Alan Peacock, Southern Regional Manager for Fulton Hogan said, “We are extremely delighted to be awarded the contract”. Mr Peacock also added, “We have enjoyed a number of years of working at Queenstown Airport, and look forward to working closely with QAC & RPL to ensure the timely completion of this safety improvement to the runway which provides an essential service to our whole Region”.
Steve Sanderson, CEO for QAC, said “It has been a long process to get where we are today, however, through hard work of QAC’s team, diligence, consultation, and working with customers, and stakeholders we
are now underway to secure the Region’s Airport as an International Airport”.
Over the last two years QAC has been working to secure earth fill from several sources including the Shotover River Gravels (which was QAC’s preferred material), QAC land, 5-‐Mile, and RPL. The Shotover River Gravels consent was recently granted, but is now being appealed by Longshot Ltd, and several other parties. Considering the deadline for the RESA to be in place by October 2011 to meet CAA rules the potentially long road of the appeal process jeopardises the preferred fill location and the RESA.
Over the last six months, QAC has been working with Remarkables Park to secure a backup source of fill in case the Shotover River Gravels were not available in time. Mr Sanderson said, “QAC was
pleased to work with its neighbour and appreciated RPL’s help, particularly in bringing its sub-‐division plans forward”.
QAC will continue to be part of the Shotover Delta Group, which includes QLDC, ORC, and NZTA. The Group’s objectives to integrate the projects RESA, Low Pressure Effluent Disposal Beds, and Queenstown Flood risk mitigation are still reliant on the extraction of river gravels.