Wellington Airport has offered Miramar Golf Club $31 million to take half of the club’s land and turn some of it into a zone for parking planes.
The move will help pave the way for “future passenger growth”, with an aviation industry expert saying it’s also likely to help cater for more intensive screening on regional flights.
According to information obtained by Stuff, the airport has offered to pay the club $10m up front if the offer is accepted, with the remaining $21m – which would be adjusted for inflation – to be paid by August 2023.
The club will put the offer to its members at the end of August, with a decision on the sale to follow.
A letter to members from the club’s board chairman, Paul Warren, said the airport made an initial purchase offer in May, but the offer “fell short of our expectations”.
In the letter to members, Warren said Wellington International Airport Limited (WIAL) wanted the land for its planned expansion.
The club would hold a general meeting on August 30 or 31 to decide if it was a willing seller, or wanted the airport to acquire the land at market value under the Public Works Act.
It’s understood the club was recently valued at between $31m and $35m.
“We have not yet had the time to meet with WIAL’s commercial and marketing teams to agree the terms and conditions of our ongoing sponsorship arrangement,” the letter said.
“In the meantime, WIAL have agreed to pay [the club] $10,000 per month to roll over the current terms and conditions.
Warren would not confirm the offer amount to Stuff.
“The airport’s made it clear they want some of our land and we’re going through a process with them,” he said.
Wellington Airport and its associated companies are 66 per cent owned by NZ Airports, which is owned by Infratil Ltd.
Wellington City Council has a 34 per cent stake and was paid a $12.6m dividend in the last financial year.
Wellington Airport spokesman Greg Thomas said the airport was in ongoing discussions with the club, but would not confirm an offer had been made.
“The airport needs space to expand in the future for aircraft operations and we’ve been exploring options with the golf course over the past few years.”
Thomas said the extra airport land would cater for future passenger growth, with the space needed to park planes and meet Civil Aviation Authority [CAA] baggage screening requirements.
It would be “inappropriate” to comment further in relation to proposals as it was a matter between the two parties.
The club has about 450 members. While they could enjoy benefits such as reduced course fees, it’s understood the members would not receive any money directly from a sale.
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