Nelson Airport has released its plans for a $32m terminal redevelopment, which will begin later this year. The project will take approximately 24 months to complete in a staged programme with over half of the new build able to occur on a green field site. The new terminal will cater for growth projections out to 2035, when 1.4m passengers a year are forecast to pass through the facility.
Nelson Airport Chief Executive Rob Evans says the project will greatly enhance the customer experience with more space for seating, airline lounges, toilets, new retail spaces and increased car parking. Airlines have welcomed the upgrade to improve the current terminal facilities, which have become stretched over recent years. The current terminal was constructed in 1974 and with some modifications has served the region well for the past 42 years. In the last financial year 865,000 passengers passed through the terminal, which also created a big increase in people meeting and dropping off friends and family.
The cost of the redevelopment will be met 100% by Nelson Airport Ltd with external funding. No ratepayer money will be sought and there will be no reduction in the annual dividend Nelson Airport pays to its Shareholders (Nelson City and Tasman District Councils).
“This is a very exciting step in the evolution of Nelson Airport and its role as the gateway to our region”, says Nelson Airport CEO Rob Evans. “We’ve used the latest industry best practise techniques to determine how this facility works for passengers and its operators, and as a result have created a plan that will see every element of the airport design improved. Visually it will be magnificent; locally sourced timber products, floor to ceiling windows, a spacious open plan style and a unique roof design will all work in harmony to make this space feel very special and reflect the beauty of the region. Functionally we will increase car parking by 300 spaces to cater for 900 vehicles and create more room for taxis, buses and rental cars. We’ll have a much more intuitive layout for passengers with an increased check-in area and departure lounge, new retail space, double the number of toilets and more food and beverage offerings.”
The new terminal design is modular and flexible, so that it can be easily scaled up in future if demand exceeds the projections.
Mayors Rachel Reese and Richard Kempthorne said that they were delighted to confirm that the two Council shareholders had given their approval to the investment at meetings last week. The planned development constitutes a major transaction under the company’s rules and therefore required shareholder approval.
“The high quality of the Board’s work made the decision for the two shareholder councils a relatively easy one. It’s also reassuring that the Company can carry the investment on its balance sheet and fund it from revenue growth without affecting dividends. The growth in passenger numbers that this development will cater for plus the future growth forecasts give us confidence that the airport will be very well placed to support our growing economy, visitors and residents of both of our districts.” the Mayors said.
Air New Zealand has welcomed the announcement of the new terminal. Bruce Parton, Chief Operating Officer says that "Nelson is integral in our network and the new terminal delivers on our drive to provide exceptional customer service and an enhanced quality of travel experience. The airport team has consulted extensively over the past 12 months and continues to consult on the design elements. We are very pleased with the plans that have been revealed and look forward to working with Nelson Airport through the challenges of completing this development to achieve the optimal outcome for our customers".
Grant Kerr, Jetstar Head of New Zealand, says the airline is very supportive of the need for a new terminal development. “Nelson is one of our most popular regional destinations and we fully understand the airport’s need to build a terminal that can cope with the significant growth in passenger numbers.” “We’re working closely with Nelson Airport on the design concept to ensure it meets our operational and cost requirements.”
The new terminal design was created by Studio Pacific Architecture and is managed by Aesculus Project Management. Dunning Thornton and CGW are the engineers.