New Plymouth Airport's new terminal is set to open in two weeks

Publish Time:2020-03-04 10:26:54Source:Stuff

【Introduction】:There's some landscaping and other details to finish, but New Plymouth Airport's new multimillion-dollar terminal is on track to open in two weeks.

There's some landscaping and other details to finish, but New Plymouth Airport's new multimillion-dollar terminal is on track to open in two weeks.

Airport company Papa Rererangi i Puketapu chief executive Wayne Wootton said the building was within the $28.7m budget and on schedule for a soft opening on March 17.

The official opening, set to be attended by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, is scheduled for a couple of days later.

"It's all hands on deck at the moment," Wootton said on Monday.

Among the details still to finish were the retail outlets, acoustic panelling and smaller artwork placements.

Then there was the clean-up, Wootton said.

There were still people doing bits and bobs but it "looks spectacular" when you walk inside, he said.

"I can't wait to get in."

The present terminal, which opened in 1966, is to be demolished to make way for a car park.

The Kingsford-Smith mural, which has hung inside the terminal since it opened, is set to go to Puke Ariki.

The artwork, commemorating Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's landing at Bell Block in 1933 after the first passenger-carrying crossing of the Tasman Sea, will be replaced with a $60,000 resin replica.

But the placement of the replica will not be decided until further down the track, after new car parking on the site of the old terminal is completed, Wootton said.

Wootton and board chair Philip Cory-Wright have written their second quarter report to New Plymouth District Council, which is the airport's 100 per cent shareholder.

The report notes that for the six months to December 31, income was $2.94m, slightly above the budget of $2.91m.

This is despite a 3.7 per cent drop in passengers (down to 224,836) compared to the same period of 2019, after Jetstar cut regional flights in November.

"However, with the increased capacity by Air New Zealand for December and better than forecast passenger numbers, the overall impact has been reduced."

On Monday, Air NZ added 1000 $9 flights throughout the country to encourage domestic travel amid the Coronavirus outbreak,

Only a small number of the flights were to or from New Plymouth, but Air NZ could not give precise numbers.

In December, Air NZ added an extra 19 return flights between New Plymouth and Auckland, with the extra capacity extended to the end of March.

The April to October winter schedule will effectively see a five per cent increase in capacity, mainly for Auckland flights, although Christchurch flights will see a small reduction.

Originair obtained its air operator certificate in December and is proposing to return its direct Nelson service once the new terminal is fully operational.

A review of car parking charges will also be completed in mid-2020.

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