Christchurch International Airport has received an international
accolade never offered before.
The CAPA Special Airport Leadership Award was made overnight by
CAPA - Centre for Aviation. The citation reads "in recognition of
community and industry leadership and teamwork in responding to
uniquely challenging circumstances."
In receiving the award at a glittering ceremony in Singapore,
airport Chief Executive Jim Boult reflected on a year of many major
"It's been an unbelievable year for us," says Mr Boult. "We've
had more than 8000 earthquakes, had our airspace closed for lengthy
periods due to Chilean volcanic ash clouds and the two worst
snowstorms in 40 years.
"Before these events, we counted ourselves amongst the best
prepared airports anywhere for disasters, but as the months have
gone on, we have had more practice than we could have ever
imagined. Our actions in opening so quickly after the major
earthquake in February have been credited with saving 25 to 30
lives, which we are both proud of and humbled by."
Executive Chairman of CAPA Peter Harbison says "Christchurch and
the surrounding Canterbury region have suffered extreme hardship
over the past year, experiencing two major earthquakes and a
succession of subsequent aftershocks. In the aftermath of the
February 2011 earthquake, Christchurch Airport and its dedicated
team played a vital role in helping restore normalcy to the
community, even while its staff were themselves suffering
personally. CAPA has the deepest admiration for their efforts over
recent months and wish them well in the months ahead."