It was an amazing experience to be on the tarmac when a large aircraft was landing!  At this branch event on Thursday 11 April 2024 we got to see behind the scenes in the baggage hall, and drive over the runway between the planes and watch as they landed and took off.

Event photos

The presentations during the day also introduced nuclear power, the details of managing the heavy-duty pavement of the airport, and a rural councils perspective on 3 waters.

Āpōpō president Gary Porteous gave an industry update reflecting on the recent changes of government and the pivot in the strategic direction this has on all of us, but the common challenges with our declining infrastructure.

View the slides here Industry update.

Michelle Cousins of AECOM detailed the work they have done in managing heavy-duty pavements of the Wellington Airport. They are working with the Wellington Airport on managing the airfield asset. They bring their international experience to the team. There is a US Based centre of excellence for Pavement Condition Inspection (PCI) which AECOM get insight from to apply to the airfields in both Wellington and Christchurch.

View the slides here: Pavement Condition Index Approach to Managing HeaveyDuty Pavements

Eddie Yong gave us some insight into what it’s like managing the asset of a nuclear power plant in Canada where he worked. Us kiwi’s were mind blown at the risk and contingency plans needed to manage such a volatile asset. There is certainly no ‘sweating the asset’ in that industry!

Take a tour of the power plant which Eddie worked at. 

View the slides here: What if your assets were nuclear

Roger Earp, 3 Waters Manager of Tararua District Council talked us through a rural council’s perspective on water assets – the challenges and opportunities. These were also showcased by John Campbell on 1 news. Tararua has 10,200 rate payers paying for 7 waste water treatment plants. The entire country faces these challenges. Roger talked us through the details of Tararua District Councils challenges.

Elisha Stephens-Graham of the Wellington Airport and Emerging Member with Āpōpō gave us a walk through the Wellington Airport as an asset. It is a mini-city with all the amenities needed including a fire-station, fuel, parking, transport fleet, etc. the baggage capacity is 18,000 bags/hour, and they are future proofing this critical asset and have major upgrades planned for this system in coming years. Being open to the public sets an expectation and Kaitiakitanga is important for those who depend on this critical infrastructure asset.

View the slides here: WIAL Asset Management Journey

Thanks to the Aviation Security and Wellington Airport staff who hosted us and allowed us to view behind the scenes at the airport. It was fascinating and certainly not something any of us will forget!

Raj Suppiah, Wellington/Taranaki Branch chair is working on the next branch event which will be held in Whanganui after July. Look out for your invite to our next event.