Nasa link continue to have spin-offs
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said the relationship between Nasa and the Wanaka community was having on-going benefits with the town’s airport recently winning national recognition.
“Wanaka Airport was named BECA Regional Airport of the Year at last week’s 2015 New Zealand Airports conference.
“This award recognised the airport’s work in facilitating the successful completion of NASA’s inaugural mid-latitude southern hemisphere super pressure balloon launch.
“It’s an award that is not only significant for the Wanaka airport, but for the local community as well, with the positive relationship developed between the people of the area and NASA contributing to the success of the balloon launch project.
“What’s exciting is that NASA has confirmed that its balloon programme team will return next year and is planning to launch its first scientific research payload on the massive super pressure balloon in April, so the relationship is on-going.
“This partnership, and the international focus that it has generated for Wanaka, is hugely beneficial in terms of promotion of the area. Economic benefits, estimated at over US$1 million having been injected directly into the regional and national economy this year, are also impressive.
“This collaboration reflects the Government’s push for region’s to attract economic investment and innovative, while this latest accolade for the Wanaka Airport is the icing on the cake.”