Christchurch Airport Wins Special International Award

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 challenges.

"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."

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