Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC)

QAC is considered an ‘Airport Authority’ under the Airport Authorities Act 1966 and is required under this legislation to operate and manage its airports as commercial undertakings, including carrying out improvements where necessary. 

QAC was incorporated in 1988 and since then has been responsible for the management and development of Queenstown Airport, striving to deliver an operationally safe and efficient airport with world-class facilities and an outstanding customer experience that reflects the best of the region. 

In 2009, QAC was engaged by QLDC to manage Wanaka Airport’s day-to-day operations.  After a public consultation process in 2017, QLDC granted QAC a long-term lease for the management, planning and future development of Wanaka Airport.  The 100-year lease commenced on 1 April 2018.

QAC also provides property maintenance services at Glenorchy Airstrip on QLDC’s behalf.  In 2018, QLDC and QAC agreed in principle that, subject to agreeing appropriate terms, QAC would provide a broader range of management services at the airstrip.  QAC is a founding member of the Glenorchy Airstrip Consultative Governance Committee.

QAC comprises approximately 70 staff who reside across the Southern Lakes region and represent diversity in all forms, including age, gender, sexual orientation, nationality and work experience.  The current female/male ratio is 50:50 in senior management and 47:53 across the QAC team.

The Company is governed by an independent Board of Directors and owned by two shareholders:

  • 75.01% by the Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC); and
  • 24.99% by Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL)

Queenstown Airport

As New Zealand’s fourth busiest airport, Queenstown Airport is a strategic national and regional asset which contributes to the vibrancy and prosperity of New Zealand’s economy, its tourism sector and the regional communities served by the airport.  More than 60 businesses and 700 people work across the airport precinct providing a broad range of services.

The airport provides a domestic and international entry point to Queenstown, one of the world’s premium visitor destinations, and direct access to the Southern Lakes region which is home to some of New Zealand’s most iconic scenery and experiences. 

Residents and visitors, domestic and international alike, have access to daily air services to/from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, as well as direct trans-Tasman services to east coast Australia through the ports of Brisbane, Coolangatta, Sydney and Melbourne.  Auckland and Sydney airports are the major international hub airports for long-haul travel. 

Queenstown Airport is also a base for various general aviation activities, including flightseeing and other commercial operations, search & rescue, life flights and other emergency services.  It is New Zealand's busiest helicopter port and a popular choice for private jet customers who reside in or visit the region.

Wanaka Airport

Wanaka Airport is a general aviation airport with nearly 300 people working across 11 businesses.  These include flightseeing, flight training, helicopter maintenance, skydiving, private recreational aviation and attractions.  Since 1988, Wanaka Airport has been the home of the Warbirds over Wanaka air show.  In 2015, the airport joined a select group of NASA global test sites for its scientific space balloon programme.