Fortune favours the brave, and Hawke’s Bay Airports’ bold new net-zero emissions target is just part of the larger plan to be New Zealand’s most sustainable airport.
Hawke’s Bay Airport Chief Executive, Stuart Ainslie, says the organisation is keen to do what it can to reduce the impacts of climate change and is confident it can reach its goal through a decarbonisation plan.
“We’ve identified nearly 40 initiatives that will make a concrete difference to our emissions. We’ve already introduced electric and hybrid vehicles into our operational fleet, we’re opening a bicycle hub on-site, and we’ve switched to 100% renewable carboNZero-certified energy from Ecotricity,” Mr Ainslie says.
There are also big plans for the future, including upgrading carpark lighting to LED or solar lighting, installing EV charging stations, and incorporating a range of energy-efficient fittings into the new terminal building. As well as working hard to integrate sustainable solutions across the airport’s operations, Mr Ainslie is looking further afield to meet climate change challenges, for example with investigations into the feasibility of a solar farm.
For now, Hawke’s Bay Airport has already taken steps in the right direction and is the proud recipient of a Level 2 certification under the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme, the international gold standard for airport sustainability. As the first regional airport in New Zealand to reach this milestone,
Mr Ainslie is pleased to see the company is well on its way.
“There’s a lot more to be done before we can reach that zero target, but we have a unique opportunity to set the tone now for any future developments and to entrench sustainability in everything we do.”
Achieving all of this through a new terminal build has been no mean feat for the airport team, and although there have been hold-ups and global supply chain disruptions due to the pandemic, the airport’s central terminal is almost complete.
“Just like our regular passengers, who have had to put up with the disruption caused by construction, the Hawke’s Bay Airport team is very keen to get the building finished.”
A miraculous recovery with domestic travel, the opening of borders to Australia and the region hosting the largest number of entries for the Hawke’s Bay Marathon has seen the busiest May on record for Hawke’s Bay Airport.
And, while it would have been great to have a spacious new terminal for the current surge in passengers, all arrivals and departures were capably managed within the temporary terminal arrangements by the dedicated on-ground team.
So when will the new terminal open? With some of the final vital building materials still yet to arrive, it’s hard to put an exact date on when the terminal will be open to the public. However, Mr Ainslie promises the new terminal will be worth the wait – which may be just another few weeks.
“We’re now seeing the final design elements coming together that will make Hawke’s Bay Airport a stunning gateway to welcome and farewell our manuhiri (visitors) in a distinctly Hawke’s Bay way.”
Hawke’s Bay Airport will be revealing more as the opening of the terminal nears, but you can experience what the new terminal will look like by watching a 3D fly-through on Hawke’s Bay Airport’s website.