Wellington, Oct 3 (IANS): The New Zealand government is helping the aerospace industry take off with further infrastructure support for the Aerospace Centre at Kaitorete in Canterbury of the South Island, Infrastructure Minister Megan Woods said on Tuesday.
The government will provide a NZ$5.4 million ($3.21 million) grant to the joint venture to fund a sealed runway and hangar facilities to encourage investment, growth and continued research and development in New Zealand's aerospace industry, Xinhua news agency quoted Woods as saying.
"New Zealand has natural advantages in aerospace which can help secure its position as a leading place to safely test, trial and adopt aerospace technologies," the Minister said said, adding that aerospace technologies will greatly improve the response to issues like climate change, emergency management and the monitoring of ecosystems and natural resources.
The current facility at Kaitorete is already being used by local companies including Kea Aerospace, Aerosearch and Swoop Aero, as well as the University of Canterbury, she said, adding that the new infrastructure will be used by a wider range of aerospace companies onshore and abroad, and research institutes, with the intention to scale up over time.
Over the next 10 years this development will contribute to more than 1,300 highly skilled, high-paying jobs and up to NZ$2.4 billion in economic benefits, she said.
"Without this investment there is risk that some flagship aerospace companies would move offshore," said the Minister, adding that the continuous thriving of the sector is directly benefitting the local community in Canterbury, and wider New Zealand economy.