There will be an opportunity for people to have their say about Christchurch Airport’s proposed international airport at Tarras.

Regarding public consultation, in July, at a Wanaka Chamber of Commerce event, Christchurch International Airport Ltd (CIAL) Central Otago airport project director Rhys Boswell said the company was reluctant to host a town hallstyle meeting for the public.

‘‘We made the decision early on after the first session that a town hall-style meeting is not especially productive.’’

However, the company has opted for drop-in sessions in Tarras, Cromwell and Wanaka next week.

The project was now three years into its data-gathering phase, and Christchurch Airport would consider beginning the approvals process ‘‘possibly as soon as the start of next year’’, Mr Boswell said.

The airport company is 75% owned by the Christchurch City Council under Christchurch City Holdings Ltd and the balance by the Crown.

In July 2020, it was reported the company had been buying up hundreds of hectares of farmland in Tarras with the intention to one day build an international airport at the site.

With one exception.

At the time, Tarras farmer Phillip Parcell said he would not sell his 40ha to the company as he did not need the money and was attached to the land where he was born and still lived.

However, at the end of May, CIAL chief strategy and stakeholder officer Michael Singleton said the company had bought the property owned by Mr Parcell, next to the 750ha of land at the intersections of State Highway 8 and 8A it already owned.

Sustainable Tarras, a group whose members neighbour the site of the proposed airport, had been collecting signatures for a petition to Parliament to stop the airport going ahead.

For those wanting to discuss the proposed airport, the dropin sessions will be from 2pm-7pm at:

Tarras Community Hall, August 29

Cromwell Presbyterian Hall, August 30

Edgewater Resort in Wanaka, August 31