A major redevelopment of the Hawke’s Bay Airport is underway that will ensure the terminal is fit for purpose after a 37 percent increase in passengers over the last two years.
The airport is flying high at the moment, having reported a record net profit of $1.7m on a turnover of $6.1 million for the year ended June 2017. The Airport Company achieved all its financial performance targets, with revenue up 16 percent from the previous year.
Construction will be in full swing over summer, with a temporary arrivals hall being set up in the area formally used for rental car parking to enable a new arrivals area to be built at the southern end of the terminal.
Hawke’s Bay Airport chief executive Nick Story says strong passenger growth and the resulting demands on existing airport infrastructure is the catalyst for the multimillion-dollar expansion. In the last two years passenger movements have risen 37 per cent to 652,000 passengers.
There was an 11 percent increase in aircraft movements for the year with a total of 14,256.
“We have had exponential growth over the last couple of years due to a significant increase in airline capacity, driven by the arrival of a second airline in Jetstar and Air New Zealand switching to larger capacity aircrafts, all of which has created competition for passengers and enabled growth of the region’s business and tourism sectors.”
The expanded terminal will increase in size from 2,500 m2 to 3,800 m2 to accommodate the growth in passenger movements and visitors to the airport.
“The airport is a major gateway for the region, so as well as catering for increased passengers and visitors, the expansion is also about enhancing their experience,” Nick says.
As The Profit was going to print, the lead construction contractor was due to be confimed. A local project manager, Steve Birkhead, has been involved through the final design stages of the project and will continue in this role through to the terminal being fully operational in early 2019.
The staged construction project will see the new check-in area constructed at the southern end of the terminal, followed by a central area with a large cafe accommodating 110 people, visitor seating and new bathrooms.
Stage 3 will be a new automated baggage handling system at the northern end, a dedicated arrivals gate, new offices for Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Sound Air, as well as a substantially expanded Air New Zealand regional lounge and rental car concierge area.
During construction Air New Zealand will relocate its regional lounge to a pre-fabricated building to be situated in the current staff car park area.
“We are aiming to keep the airport operating on a business as usual basis. There will be disruptions but our aim is to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
“We will have something exciting to look forward to in 2019, a larger, more functional and vibrant terminal.”
Nick says the design enables future growth with the majority of the complex design elements in the centre of the building, making additional expansion to the north simple and cost-efficient.
The project is to be internally funded by Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited, enabled by the airport company’s strong financial performance, and will not require any financial support from current shareholders Napier City Council, Hastings District Council and the Crown.
The new-look terminal has been designed by local architects Paris Magdalinos Architects. PMA architect Chris Ainsworth said the terminal has been designed in the shape of a Kuaka (godwit) bird in flight.
“A key consideration of the brief was to tell the story of the Hawke’s Bay area, which had to be integrated into the building’s architecture and not simply applied later on by using artwork. It is important to tell our story, in what is one of the key gateways into the Hawke’s Bay.
“The Kuaka achieves some amazing feats, flying over 8,000 kilometres every year to Alaska, which is pretty incredible for such a small bird,” says Chris.
The Kuaka-inspired shape will be further showcased inside the terminal using a modern approach to traditional Maori carving.
A new entranceway to the airport is also progressing well and under development at the intersection of Watchman Road, SH2 and Meeanee Quay. This project will be completed by August 2018.