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Group members Mike Ross and Meg Taylor last week urged the Wanaka Community Board to progress the Wanaka Airport liaison committee with the Queenstown Lakes District Council and Queenstown Airport Corporation.

The council owns the airport and the corporation is contracted to manage and operate it. Both organisations already liaise with the existing Wanaka Airport Users Group and a council airport safety and operations committee.

Mr Ross and Ms Taylor said last week it would be good if the Wanaka Airport liaison committee was established and ready to start work in November, straight after the local body elections.

The district plan included a designation for a Wanaka Airport liaison committee but it had not yet been set up, they said.

‘‘We thought this was a welcome opportunity and couldn’t understand why the council had not enabled it,’’ Ms Taylor said.

Mr Ross said district plan processes between 2011 and 2018 made several, wide› ranging changes to enable future airport development.

Because the changes were significant, independent commissioners proposed a Wanaka Airport liaison committee be established to manage the effects of planned airport growth.

It was meant to be established within 12 months of the plan change becoming operative in 2018.

The committee would give the community an opportunity to have a say about airport strategies and create a ‘‘workable vision’’ for the airport, Ms Taylor said.

It would get ‘‘clear support on this side of the hill’’ from several community associations, airport users, community board members and councillors, she said.

‘‘There has been a lot of talk about consultation, so we are saying let’s walk the talk.’’

Wanaka Community Board chairman Barry Bruce asked board members if they had questions but they all remained silent.

After the meeting, a council spokesman told The News a Wanaka Airport liaison committee was a designation under the district plan and council officers were reviewing the district plan requirement ‘‘to confirm next steps’’.

‘‘These include ensuring the proposed terms of reference remain current, for example in terms of the relevant parties that could be included (noting that these include Lakes Environmental which no longer exists).

‘‘We will share next steps with councillors and the Wanaka Community Board, airport stakeholders and the wider community once this has been completed.

‘‘In the meantime, the existing Wanaka Airport Users Group continues to be an effective forum for raising and discussing matters relating to the airport’s ongoing operations,’’ the spokesman said.

Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) chief executive Glen Sowry said Mr Ross raised the Wanaka Airport liaison committee with him at a recent meeting.

QAC would be happy to aid the process under the management services agreement, if the council requested it, Mr Sowry said.

‘‘I agree that open and transparent communication regarding the future of both airports in the district is critical to achieving a shared future vision, which ensures these important assets are well managed and deliver economic and social benefits to the communities they serve.

‘‘Establishing a Wanaka Airport liaison committee, as outlined under the district plan, appears to be a sensible and constructive way to achieve this,’’ Mr Sowry said.