Media Release: Nelson Airport invests $400k in immediate car park upgrades

As a result of increased airline and passenger growth, Nelson Airport is investing $400,000 in its car park facilities to significantly improve the customer experience and safety, says CEO Rob Evans. Works start on Monday 15th February and are due for completion during the first week of March. Over the last year, Nelson Airport has welcomed three new airlines in addition to the existing three operating out of Nelson. It now manages on average 400 flights per week. Passenger numbers in and out of Nelson have hit record highs, with December 2015 figures at an all-time high of 80,200 passengers. Each year, 1.3 million people now use the airport for travel, to meet and greet passengers, and for business.

Plans are underway for a new terminal to open in 2018, but CEO Rob Evans says the airport is investing now in interim improvements to car parking due to the congestion around the terminal entry, and users’ frustration with the aged car park equipment.

“As demand continues to increase, there’s a need to improve customer safety and provide modern technology to enhance the customer experience,” Evans says. “We are installing the latest car park equipment and improving the traffic flow now as we simply cannot wait until we have a new terminal and car park in 2018.

Nelson Regional Economic Development Agency Chief Executive Bill Findlater says the airport is developing in line with the regional economy.

“This summer’s fantastic tourist season follows positive economic growth figures recorded in the latest Tracking the Economy report,” says Mr Findlater. “It’s important that our airport infrastructure can service the increased number of visitors, so it is great news that the Nelson Airport is responding quickly to improve its car park rather than another two years.”

Rob Evans says the $400,000 investment will bring Nelson Airport’s car park infrastructure in line with those seen at airports around New Zealand. For example, taxis and shuttles will have a dedicated lane and staging area at the terminal entrance and passengers will have their own drop-off zone.

“The car park ticketing system will be modernised with additional new features such as payWave,” he says. “Credit cards can also be used at the entrance and exit barriers, so people with cards won’t have to use the terminal pay machine, which will reduce the queues.”

Evans adds that the maximum daily rate in the Long Term Car Park remains at $8 and the weekly rate in the Long Term car park has reduced to $50 a week from $56 a week. Short term car parking charges will increase slightly for the first time in 10 years to $1.50 an hour.

Visitors to Nelson Airport are advised to come early and use extra caution when entering the airport during the upgrades, though works will take place mostly in the evenings to minimise disruption.

Improvements at-a-glance:

Where to park

  • For airport visitor safety, public drop-off traffic will have a dedicated lane and traffic island.
  • All short term public car parking and pick up will be in the new Short Term Car Park, currently known as the Main Car Park.
  • A dedicated P120 area will be close to the terminal in the Short Term Car Park.
  • The current pay-and-display short term public car park will become rental car parking.
  • Taxis and shuttles will have their own dedicated drop off and pick up (‘staging’) lane.

How to pay

  • New technology for cash, eftpos, credit card or payWave payments will replace the current machine.
  • For ticketless parking, people with a credit card can insert their card as they enter the car park and then use the same credit card as they exit the car park.
  • Receipts can be issued for all transactions.

Prices from early March

  1. The first 15 minutes is free.
  2. Short term parking increases to $1.50 / hour.
  3. The Short Term Car Park’s daily maximum is $10.
  4. The Long Term Car Park’s daily maximum is $8 (unchanged).
  5. The weekly maximum in the Long Term car park reduces to $50 from $56 per week.

Further Information:

  • Six airlines serve the Nelson region: Air New Zealand, OriginAir, Kiwi Regional Airlines, Jetstar, Sounds Air, air2there.
  • The new airport car park design was completed by Traffic Design Group (TDG).
  • The airport works are being completed by Downer.
  • The new car parking technology is by Skidata (

Click here for all details about our 2016 car park development project.

New Car Park from March 2016