Shane Jones slams Auckland Airport's board over runway closures

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has slammed the Board of Auckland Airport following the airport's runway closing twice within two weeks due to maintenance.

Around 2,000 passengers were affected by last week’s runway closures, according to 1NEWS. Another maintenance closure on January 24 saw two international flights and three domestic flights diverted due to debris on the tarmac.

While Auckland Airport has since launched a formal review into the recent closures, Minister Jones told 1 NEWS that the airport’s Board is still to blame for not spending the $500 million profit they made last year more wisely.

"Look the airport is one New Zealand's largest companies, I suspect they're eating the profit like a horse and making a pig out of our country's reputation," the Minister said.

"I expect these kinds of problems in maintaining the bridges in the back and beyond of rural New Zealand, not at the international gateway."

Minister Jones says substantial amounts of capital need to be put back into the business.

"When you gorge on profit - half a billion - and you starve the business of decent levels of capital to maintain quality infrastructure you get this problem”.

"Twenty-one million people arrived at that airport last year - half a billion dollars worth of profit - and they've obviously skimped,” the Minister added.

"In my view we should be taking forward necessary measures to regulate them," he says.

"If you can’t run the day to day business in an ordinary course of a week then in my view you start to lose your social license."

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