Nelson Airport has confirmed it will build a new airport terminal on its existing site. The Board of Nelson Airport announced on Monday it would build a new terminal, rather than remediate the existing building, to meet the future needs of the region.
Nelson Airport chief executive Rob Evans said the decision to rebuild rather than remediate was the most feasible option in terms costs, project time and inconvenience for airport users.
He said a rebuild was needed to keep up with an "extraordinary" growth in passengers at the terminal over the next two years. Evans estimated by the end of 2017 there would be more than 1 million passengers with over 300 flights per week at the airport.
"That is extraordinary for a regional destination," he said.
The current building is about 40 years old.
The Airport made the decision to rebuild after appointing Wellington-based firms Studio Pacific Architects and Impact Project Management to conduct a feasibility study. The firms began assessments of the airport back in April with input from structural and services engineers and quantity surveyors.
"The review was very comprehensive and we received compelling reasons why a new build is the best way to provide an airport of the future that will meet our region's growth aspirations," said Evans.
Evans said the Airport would provide further details about project timing, total costs and designs in early 2016.
Air New Zealand Group general manager airports John Whittaker said the airline welcomed the announcement.
"We continue to significantly grow capacity on our Nelson services and look forward to working closely with the Nelson Airport Company on the designs and requirements for the future terminal," he said.
The announcement comes as additional airlines take to Nelson skies this year, including Jetstar, which will fly to Wellington and Auckland from December. Originair has also commenced their service to Palmerston North last month and Kiwi Regional Airlines will start flying direct from Nelson to Dunedin, Hamilton and Queenstown at the end of October.
Nelson Airport is currently working with Nelson Pine Industries ahead of the rebuild on potential use of their products. It is also working with Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council as a way to keep the community up to date with the developments.