NZ Airports Hui 2023

The annual conference of New Zealand’s airports and related businesses.

11 – 13 OCTOBER 2023


The programme is a work in progress. Check back for developments soon!


9.00am – 12.30pm

Registration opens in Town Hall foyer


Limes Room (upstairs)

This pre-conference forum is open to all delegates. The main conference session will commence after lunch. 


Arrival tea & coffee

10.00am – 10.30am

Sustained Airport Ground Lighting & Pavements

A selection of speakers from GHD will present and outline the issues of sustainable airport ground lighting and aviation sustainable pavements.

Introduction: GHD Sustainability Policy and capabilities of Aviation Team

Sustainable Airport Pavements
Karen O’Sullivan/Arnold De Bryun 

Sustainable pavement opportunities on low-volume airfields, the use of locally available materials by understanding how ‘marginal’ materials may perform under specific airfield operations, and mitigation of risks through good engineering practice. 

Sustainable Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL)
John Lahiff

Sustainable AGL, Light sources, latest LED technology, low power and voltage solutions, solar feasibility, Hybrid systems.

10.30am – 11.00am

Maximising airport security system design for Resilience

Kinnary Patel, AECOMs leading security specialist will cover the following discussion on as threats to aviation continue to evolve Airlines, airports and government strive to provide the right mix of security capabilities across airports and aerodromes. Applying security system design principles highlights the importance of incident management, Physical Security, Cyber Security and security assurance. The industry needs to continually adapt to ever-changing regulations and challenges that the security environment presents as they look to expand and evolve their operations.

This session will cover terminal and airfield security and include design principles when implementing check bag screening.

11.00am – 11.30am

Digital Engineering in Construction
Mohit Vyas, Downer

The Downer Transport and Infrastructure team’s approach to Digital Engineering is changing the way projects are delivered in New Zealand. Engaging with the latest technology, including A.I. can result in safer more efficient project delivery and a full digital handover.

Mohit Vyas; Downer’s Digital Engineering Lead, uses his 11+ years of experience in design, construction, BIM, and systems/process development to lead a team in realising improvement opportunities and implementing significant innovations in construction. Mohit will explore key items in Downer’s Digital Menu, listed below, and how they can benefit the country’s airport projects.

  • Model first Construction approach
  • Use of 3D coordination & 4D simulation
  • GIS and Augmented Reality (AR)
  • Multiple AI solutions for safety and maintenance
  • Machine Avoidance System
  • Full digital handover including asset data and quality records.

11.30am – 12.00pm

Airport Asphalt Specifications
Greg Thompson, Fulton Hogan

Fulton Hogan are the airport specialists in asphalt and will cover the current airport specification consistency across New Zealand. The discussion will cover risks with asphalts for airports (loading, oxidisation) the New Zealand market and amount of asphalt used across New Zealand.

Our specialists will raise the New Zealand Airports Asphalt Spec approach, similar to that of the AfPA for Australia. A look at the limitations around testing for asphalt and how tighter specifications encroach into the repeatability of the testing.

12.00pm – 12.15pm

Standing Water and GRF 
Joeri Almun, Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO)

ICAO’s Global Reporting Format (GRF) is meant to standardize the reporting of runway contaminants globally and will be applicable to New Zealand airports by this November.

The goal of this ICAO initiative is to reduce the number of runway excursions, since this constitutes 23% of all aviation accidents, globally. 90% of these runway excursions occur on wet runways.

So called ‘standing water’ on the runway occurs more frequently and more quickly than many assume. NACO Netherlands Airport Consultants and its local climate adaptation expert in New Zealand will present data during this session which shows that standing water even occurs on the most well-designed and well-maintained runways. However, A significant change of the runway condition can be easily missed due to size of the airfield, if this is dependent on manual observation only. At the end of the session, the consultant will touch upon a tool that can help airports address these challenges of Runway Condition Reporting – the so-coined RCR-Tool©.

12.30 – 1.30pm

Welcome Lunch sponsored by Christchurch Airport
Town Hall Foyer
Trade & Exhibition Open

1.30pm – 2.30pm

Welcome to the NZ Airports Hui 2023
Mihi whakatau
Deputy Mayor of Christchurch, Pauline Cotter
Justin Watson, Chief Executive, Christchurch International Airport
Matt Clarke, Chair, NZ Airports and Chief Executive, Wellington International Airport

Remarks from party spokespeople
Hon Duncan Webb MP, Labour Spokesperson for Commerce, Consumer Affairs and State Owned Enterprises and MP for Christchurch Central
Simeon Brown MP, National Spokesperson for Transport, Public Service and Auckland and MP for Pakuranga

2.30pm – 3.15pm

International keynote: global trends, opportunities and challenges for airports
Stefano Baronci, Director-General Airports Council International Asia-Pacific & MID

Global airport association leader Stefano Baronci will join us to offer his insights into the regional and global context for airports, including connectivity growth and recovery, commercial trends, the need for airport infrastructure investment and modernisation and airports’ role in decarbonisation innovation.

3.15pm – 4.00pm

Countdown to Election 2023
Panel discussion
Therese Arseneau, Adjunct Senior Fellow, University of Canterbury
Wayne Eagleson, Director, Thompson Lewis

It’s election week and politics is on everyone’s minds. This panel will discuss insights from the election campaign and the themes that have come through from the New Zealand electorate. What might the next three years bring, and what should aviation leaders look out for? How can we work well with Ministers and government agencies in a crowded policy and regulatory landscape?

4.00pm – 5.00pm

AGM (Members only meeting)
Limes Room

Trade & Exhibition Open

6.30pm – 11.00pm

Networking DinnerKaiser Brewery Bar, Riverside Market



Espresso Bar open sponsored by Amadeus
Trade & Exhibition – Open All Day

9.00am – 9.05am

Welcome and introduction to Day 2
Billie Moore, Chief Executive, NZ Airports 

9.05am – 9.45am

International keynote: planning now for a zero emissions future
Rachel Gardner-Poole, Chair of the Zero Emissions Flight Delivery Group of the UK Jet Zero Council

A chartered mathematician, aviator and former leader at the UK Space Agency and UK Civil Aviation Authority, Rachel Gardner-Poole now leads the effort to coordinate zero emissions flight in the UK. Rachel will offer her latest thoughts on the UK Jet Zero Council process and the challenge of driving system and infrastructure change. She’ll share her views on what airports should do now to prepare for the future, and the scenarios ahead for a decarbonised airport network in the UK. With the UK some years ahead of New Zealand on this work, what can we learn?

9.45am – 10.45am

The future of hydrogen in the New Zealand airport network: update from the Hydrogen Consortium
Panel discussion
Nick Flack, General Manager Future Planning and Sustainability, Christchurch Airport
Dr Barry Prince, VP Hydrogen, Fabrum
Jacob Snelgrove, Sustainability Manager, Air New Zealand
Hiringa Energy

Green hydrogen has been proposed as one of the key zero-emission fuel solutions for heavy vehicles and aircraft. Launched at Christchurch Airport in March 2023, the Hydrogen Consortium has brought together leaders in aviation sustainability to explore what a green hydrogen aviation ecosystem could look like for New Zealand. For hydrogen-powered flight to be successful, we’ll need a plan for the production, storage, transportation and refuelling of viable aircraft.  

In this discussion, four members of the Consortium will share their findings and insights so far. What are the prospects for green hydrogen aircraft, what airport infrastructure will we need, and how realistic are the energy requirements for New Zealand? What should airports do now to prepare for the future? 

10.45am – 11.15am

Morning tea

11.15am – 12.15pm

Reconnecting New Zealand: how has the recovery gone and what trends are we seeing from consumers and airlines?
Panel discussion
Scott Tasker, Chief Customer Officer, Auckland International Airport
Angela Blair, GM International, Tourism New Zealand
Carly Wieland, Co-Founder, Lime Intelligence
Matthew Findlay, Director – Global Markets, Ailevon Pacific Aviation Consulting

We’ve now had a full year of border reopening after the Covid pandemic. We saw a much sharper recovery in travel than we originally predicted – but there is still a way to go to reach pre-Covid levels across the network. This summer, we expect to have 85% of our pre-Covid international flight capacity back.  

This panel of aviation leaders and experts will discuss the state of the aviation recovery so far; domestic, Asia Pacific and global trends in airline and consumer behaviour; and how our international, regional and small airports should think about travel demand in a post-Covid world. Who is travelling, how are airlines thinking about their routes, and what are the opportunities for future growth? 


Collaborating for new connections: regional airport case study

Megan Crawford, GM Business Development, Dunedin Airport
Judi Godbold, Business Development Manager, Hawke’s Bay Airport

In this session we will hear about some creative collaboration between airports to attract new regional routes. How can we work together and alongside regional tourism organisations for connectivity growth?

12.45pm – 1.30pm


12.45pm – 1.45pm

Safety Managers’ Meeting working lunch sponsored by Marlborough Airport
Avon Room

All airport staff with an interest in safety are invited to attend the Safety Managers working lunch. Steve Holtum (Marlborough Airport) will facilitate a discussion how to move forward safety at NZ Airports and next steps for collective support and learning.

1.30 – 2.00pm

The view from the CAA – what it means to be a modern regulator
Keith Manch, Director of Civil Aviation

Keith Manch will share his strategic view on the CAA’s work and the challenges and opportunities ahead for the organisation, including regulating emerging technology, intelligence-led security, and instilling healthy safety culture. What can we expect from the CAA over the coming years, and how can we work in partnership for a safer aviation system?

2.00pm – 3.00pm

Working together for a seamless journey: how can we cooperate across the aviation ecosystem to achieve continuous improvement on customer experience?
Panel discussion
Mark Wheeler, GM Aviation Security, Civil Aviation Authority
Cath O’Brien, Executive Director, Board of Airline Representatives of NZ
Mike Inglis, Northern Regional Commissioner, Biosecurity New Zealand

A safe and efficient customer experience at airports relies on a range of operators and service providers working together, from airport operators, airlines and ground handlers through to the government agencies at the airport – Aviation Security, Biosecurity NZ and Customs. A challenge in one part of the ecosystem can have flow on effects throughout the customer journey and the wider aviation network.

Post-Covid, we’ve seen challenges across the system including major queues at AvSec and Biosecurity screening, and a major increase in the number of mishandled bags. As the system recovers its capacity, finding collaborative solutions to improve the customer experience is key, while maintaining safety and the security of the border.

This session will discuss the progress that has been made during 2023 on system collaboration for the customer journey and the challenges and opportunities ahead. 

3.00pm – 3.30pm

Afternoon tea

3.30pm – 4.00pm

New Zealand infrastructure case study – Queenstown Airport

The Queenstown Airport draft master plan proposes a series of infrastructure improvements over the next decade to deliver on its 10-year Strategic Plan. It also plans for further investment in the decades beyond by allocating space to provide options for the community’s and airlines’ needs beyond 2032 and to enable and support the decarbonisation of aviation. Glen Sowry will share more about how the airport has approached the project and the importance of community engagement.

4.00pm – 5.00pm

Infrastructure development and resilience: key issues and priorities for airports
Panel discussion
Ross Copland, CEO, Infrastructure Commission
Richard Holyoake, Technical Fellow – Infrastructure Delivery and Market Lead Aviation, Beca
Michael Fulton, National Development Manager, Fulton Hogan
Glen Sowry, Chief Executive, Queenstown Airport

Airports serve as critical infrastructure for all regions of New Zealand. All airports, large and small must ensure their runways, terminals, aprons, airfield lighting and other facilities and systems are fit for purpose. 

The operating context for airports is getting more and more complex. Airports must plan for infrastructure development and upgrades that address projected passenger demand and regional population growth, potential changes in aircraft types and flight frequency, alternative fuel infrastructure, the electrification of vehicles and equipment, sea level rise and greater rainfall intensity – all while working within tough planning constraints. 

This session brings together leaders in infrastructure to share their insights on trends, challenges and opportunities for airport infrastructure in New Zealand. 

6.15pm – 7.15pm

Pre-dinner drinks – Christchurch City Art Gallery
58 Gloucester Street
Sponsored by ADB Safegate 
Black tie and cocktail dress event 

7.15pm – 11.30pm

NZ Airports Awards Gala Dinner – Christchurch City Art Gallery  
58 Gloucester Street 
Sponsored by Beca 
Black tie and cocktail dress event 


8.00am – 9.00am

Bag drop off for airline check-in  
Avon room ground floor 

9.00am – 9.05am

Welcome and introduction to Day 3
Billie Moore, Chief Executive, NZ Airports 

9.05am – 9.35am

International infrastructure case study – Melbourne Airport third runway
Craig Downey, Project Director, Beca

Melbourne Airport is Australia’s second-busiest passenger airport and, as an important hub for Australia’s international and domestic networks, it features in six of the nation’s 10 busiest flight routes.

Melbourne Airport currently operates two intersecting runways which served close to 38 million passengers pre-covid. Strong growth in the State of Victoria, along with growing demand for aviation services have prompted Melbourne Airport to initiate the next major component of their Master Plan in the development of their third runway.

The M3R Project, subject to Federal Government approval, will be a major infrastructure project for the State of Victoria. The project involves the development of a new 3000m long runway, over 10km of new taxiway, 7M3 of earthworks, significant landside infrastructure and aviation support services.

Craig will summarise the background to the project, including critical Concept of Operations considerations that informed the design, along with a summary of the unique engineering aspects of the Project. Craig will also discuss how the project will support Melbourne Airport’s vision for the project to be a leader in the development of sustainable aviation infrastructure.

9.35am – 10.05am

Airport resilience: challenges and opportunities

Siȃn John, Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), Royal HaskongingDHV

NACO is a global thought leader on airport resilience, delivering resilience projects for Changi, Schiphol, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Kansai Airports. It is now engaged in supporting New Zealand airports with flood resilience. In this session Siȃn John will share NACO’s international best practice as well as her local insights into delivering resilience and adaptation projects around New Zealand.

10.05am – 10.30am

North American airport development trends
Mitch Hooper, Principal Consultant, AIRBIZ

Mitch Hooper leads Airbiz’s consulting practice in the United States and will share his view on the state of aviation in the US, the outlook for the North America to New Zealand market, and trends in infrastructure development including changing airline practices, passenger preferences and decarbonisation and energy supply challenges.

10.30am – 11.00am

Morning tea

11.00am – 11.30pm

Working together for safe skies – Airways’ strategy and partnerships with airports
James Young, Chief Executive, Airways New Zealand

11.30am – 12.15pm

Auckland Airport’s once in a generation infrastructure investment
Mary-Liz Tuck, Chief Sustainability and Master Planning Officer at Auckland Airport

A presentation from Mary-Liz Tuck on the investment Auckland Airport is making across sustainability, resilience and new capacity to support New Zealand’s thriving domestic and cargo network.

12.15pm – 12.30pm

Where to from here?

Wrap up session and next steps

12.30pm – 1.30pm

Lunch kindly sponsored by Airways

1.00pm – 3.00pm

Small Airports Forum sponsored by Aviation Consultants Mike Haines, Simon Hollinger & Max Evans
Avon Room (downstairs)
Steve Riden NZ Airports will MC this session 

The Small Airports group will meet for an afternoon session focusing on specific issues for aerodromes and group 2 airports.

Our Sponsors

Dr Therese Arseneau
Dr Therese Arseneau