Hawke International Airport in New Zealand is planning to extend its runway from 1,300m to 1,900m at a cost of $9m.

The runway expansion is expected to be complete by the end of 2011, before Rugby World Cup begins.

The airport will call for tenders for the runway extension project soon.

Hawke Bay Airport has the capacity to manage more than 200,000 passengers per annum.

Air New Zealand has opposed the runway extension and said that it would not offer jet services in Hawke’s Bay because the airport is currently better serviced by a high-frequency of flights using turboprop aircraft.