No decision had been made to close Kāpiti Coast Airport but all options were being explored about its future, a spokeswoman for the company who owns it said.

The airport was acquired by NZPropCo Ltd (NZPC) from the Todd Property Group late last year.

NZPC is a New Zealand-based investment company which is majority owned 50 per cent by interests associated with Templeton Group and 50 per cent by interests associated with Tailorspace and Alvarium Investments.

"No decision has been made to close the airport," the Templeton Group's Dani Simpson said.

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But economic and safety issues were two challenging factors facing it.

"The airport faces significant economic viability issues.

"The withdrawal of flights by Air NZ in 2018 had a major impact on the viability of the airport.

"The impacts of Covid-19 have had a further major impact on aviation throughout the world and within New Zealand.

"Kapiti Coast Airport is not immune to these and passenger numbers continue to decline."

And safety was "now a significant concern for the airport".

"As you would know, on April 21 Airways announced it was withdrawing the provision of Aerodrome Flight Information Services (AFIS) from seven regional airports throughout New Zealand of which we Kapiti Coast Airport (KCA) are one.

"You would be aware that the AFIS Services (Air Traffic Controllers) were engaged at the then-named Paraparaumu Airport after the 2008 mid-air collision that resulted in three fatalities.

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"We are therefore reviewing all options for the future of the airport.

"We have recently met with Kāpiti District Council to seek their support and assistance to review how we can collectively identify the best solutions moving forward.

"In the meantime the airport remains fully open and operational."

Kāpiti Coast Airport. Photo / David Haxton
Kāpiti Coast Airport. Photo / David Haxton

National's candidate in Ōtaki, and former air force pilot, Tim Costley said he had 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.

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"Blaming airport safety is a smokescreen to allow developers to chop up the runway for sections.

"There's no reason the airport can't 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 Coast Airport just as I would be.

"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.

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"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."

Costley said, "Chopping up Kapiti Coast 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."