Kāpiti Air Urban unveils its vision for Kāpiti airport

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Kāpiti Air Urban – formerly Save Kāpiti Airport – today releases its vision for Kāpiti Airport and the surrounding lands, drawing up an initial plan to improve the airport. It includes investments in contemporary housing and community centers, the growth of the avionics and aviation innovation industries, and is consistent with environmental and social governance.

Developed alongside experts in architecture, infrastructure and aviation, it demonstrates what it is possible to exploit the most valuable asset of the region while respecting the principles of protection, partnership and equity of Te Tiriti.

By publishing his vision, Kāpiti Air Urban (KAU) hopes he will be the catalyst for co-creating a bright future for the region. In developing the plan, he engaged with a range of stakeholders, including Ngāti Puketapu hapū leaders, local deputies, government officials, district councilors and the Kāpiti Coast District Council. . KAU seeks community feedback and input on its vision.

Marcel van den Assum, KAU contributor, says the vision retains the airport as a strategic asset while positioning Kāpiti at the forefront of the avionics and aeronautical innovation industries – which will provide opportunities education and high-value jobs at rangatahi in the region.

“Every day, around 8,000 people leave Kāpiti for work. Our average incomes are $ 20,000 below the Wellington regional average. Our young people go to study and many do not return. This is a perfect opportunity to aim higher and to invest in our community – especially as our economy is facing the impact of COVID-19. Our goal as a community must be to create new industries, new jobs and attract new investment to Kāpiti, which is possible with our proposed vision, ”he said.

Aviation and aerospace innovation is well established in Aotearoa and is already happening in Kāpiti. Shaun Johnson, CEO of Merlin Labs, was recently featured in national media for his work in developing Murray, the new driverless airplane technology.

Other examples of technologies that could be developed at Kāpiti include AI-based information from aerial data supporting the agriculture, marine and conservation sectors; simulation solutions, lightweight composites and clean energy systems, all crucial to the future of aviation. KAU also proposes to establish an aviation technology center to attract new entrepreneurs to the region and provide young people with learning and work paths.

Katherine Corich, entrepreneur and KAU collaborator, says that globally, countries are realizing the importance of retaining their regional airports as airlines invest in planes and electric flights, and believes Kāpiti could be at the heart of regional point-to-point travel, which suits our geographic and demographic characteristics where high volume of point-to-point road or rail is simply not feasible

“Sounds Air is already on the road to electric flight from 2026. Electric air transport will be crucial in reducing emissions, our environmental impact and creating sustainable and environmentally friendly means of transport. Kāpiti could lead the world in a point-to-point net zero carbon air transport system connecting whānau through Aotearoa, ”she said.

Along with growth, investment and educational opportunities, housing, community spaces and wetland restoration are central to the vision. Architect Gordon Moller has created sustainable housing guided by the Blue Zone model – a proven medium-density housing model that improves the well-being and longevity of growing populations.

Marcel van den Assum says that KAU believes in creating a community specially designed to promote well-being and prosperity while respecting and enhancing the connection to our natural landscape.

“This includes developing high quality affordable housing that would attract young families and young professionals to the region while retaining and leveraging the airport as a key regional asset, as well as creating a strong sense of community.”

Sustainability, maintaining natural ecosystems and a low carbon footprint are all fundamental elements of the Kāpiti Air Urban vision. The proposed mixed-use development plan would provide Kāpiti with more infrastructure and housing while avoiding development detrimental to our natural environment. The engagement of the Ngāti Puketapu hapū in the planning process to enable the restoration of mana to their ancestral lands and the incorporation of the principles of Mana Whenua is also essential.

“Beyond its incredible potential, we must not forget that Kāpiti Airport is a gateway to critical infrastructure that saves lives and acts as a disaster recovery capacity in the event of a major natural event excluding the Wellington Airport. It’s not just about airplanes; and it’s not just about homes. Our priority is our community, and we cannot put a price on the safety and peace of mind of our people. people who live there, ”said van den Assum.

“For decades bad decisions have been made about Kāpiti Airport. As a community that inhabits this region, we must have a say in its future. Our vision is to foster value creation at long term for our community and our future. Now we ask the 87% of the community who told us earlier this year that they want to keep their airport to help us create that future for Kāpiti and make it a reality ” , he said.

You can find more information and provide feedback on the vision at www.kapitiairurban.co.nz.

About Kāpiti Air Urban

Kāpiti Air Urban – formerly Save Kāpiti Airport – defends the protection of our national strategic asset for the benefit of future generations. He co-created his vision for Kāpiti, collaborating with experts in various fields and alongside key community players. He envisions a future for Kāpiti Airport and the surrounding lands that allows the region to reap the benefits of retaining the airport as a strategic asset with continued growth potential and adding value with new housing and facilities thanks to avant-garde development.

KAU has drawn inspiration and lessons from real-life scenarios around the world and incorporated them into their co-created kaupapa, committed to honoring Te Tiriti’s principles of protection, partnership and fairness.

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