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Queenstown Airport Wins International Award for Biodiversity Project

  • 2024-06-05

Queenstown Airport has received international recognition for its support of a local wetland restoration project.

The Green Airports ‘Platinum’ Recognition was recently announced at the annual conference of the global industry organisation, the Airports Council International (ACI).

The award recognises the airport’s collaboration with the Whakatipu Reforestation Trust and the Shotover Primary School to restore the Shotover Wetland.

 


The airport has committed to long-term financial assistance and help with planting sessions, community engagement, and education days. Its involvement has accelerated the project, with a target to fully restore the wetland within 10 years.


The Green Airports Recognition judging panel assessed Queenstown Airport against other airports in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East handling up to 8 million passengers a year.

Chief Executive Glen Sowry says working through the ACI Green Airports Recognition process was a fantastic opportunity to benchmark Queenstown Airport’s efforts.

“Since the introduction of our Sustainability Strategy five years ago, we’ve seen a 65% reduction in total greenhouse gases from our operations.

“We know we’ve made some good progress and we’re really proud of that, but we have great ambition in this space, and we know there’s a lot more we can do to champion sustainability and biodiversity in this region,” Mr Sowry says.

“Queenstown Airport is deeply conscious of the need to protect what makes this special place unique.”

Queenstown Airport’s General Manager Sustainability and Corporate Affairs Sara Irvine says wetlands are a crucial but often neglected part of our ecosystem, filtering toxins from water as it runs off land into rivers. Wetland plants also sequester carbon from the atmosphere and provide habitat for wildlife.

“In the past 150 years, more than 90% of New Zealand’s wetlands have been destroyed. This makes the protection of remaining wetlands urgent,” she says.

“The Shotover Wetland, east of the confluence of the Shotover and Kawarau rivers, is deemed regionally significant and is very close to the airport and the homes of many of our staff and customers. It’s exciting to be part of its restoration.”

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Queenstown Airport
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