Pro Features

Airports expansion set to take flight

A new passenger arrivals area at the Hawke’s Bay Airport will open in early December, drawing a close to stage 1 of the $20.2 million airport expansion.

The expansion project was upgraded by $4.5m earlier this year due to forecasted passenger numbers being higher than first thought. The latest passenger growth figures now foresee one million passengers by 2025.

The terminal when complete will be 74 percent larger than the existing footprint and will include new airline check in areas, an automated baggage handling system, a dedicated arrivals gate, a central hospitality and retail area; new bathrooms, airline offices and an expanded Air New Zealand regional lounge. The rental car concierge area will also be relocated within the terminal.

There will be a central food and beverage hub with the existing café offering Kete upsizing, as well as a new retail offering selling travel essentials and iconic Hawke’s Bay products and a smaller coffee cart service.

Hawke’s Bay Airport commercial manager Dean Smith says the project is running to schedule and the revised terminal will create “a greater sense of place” and promote the best of Hawke’s Bay.

“It’s important that we create a sense of place and that visitors get a true taste of Hawke’s Bay either by visually promoting the region within the terminal or via retail offerings of Hawke’s Bay products such as food and beverages (wine),” he says.

The airport has experienced strong passenger growth with 652,000 passenger movements recorded in the financial year ending 30 June 2017. The current expansion plan was set to cater for up to 800,000 passengers, which it was initially forecasted to hit in 2024, but has since been revised to 2020.

The terminal is expected to be fully completed in the second quarter of 2020.

HB Airport Ltd is completing an airport masterplan which will safeguard the airport into the future. It will also enable the realization of new development opportunities both commercially, increased capacity by incumbent airlines and new entrants.

“Our vision is to be the most vibrant and successful regional airport in New Zealand. We are also very aware of our environmental role in Ahuriri and surrounding areas and it’s important that we have an active environmental management plan,” says HB Airport chief executive Stuart Ainslie.