A multimillion dollar project to double the size of the terminal at Napier Airport is ready for take-off, with the lead construction contract going to Auckland-based Arrow International.
Arrow, which has previously carried out construction projects at other New Zealand airports, will begin stage 1 construction of the $14m expansion and redevelopment early in the new year.
Speaking at Napier Airport yesterday, Hawke's Bay Airport acting chief executive Jeanette Yule said Arrow International had a strong local track record completing construction projects, including with ABB in Napier.
"They have put together a great team of local sub-contractors for this project and we have every confidence that the new look terminal will be fully operational by the last quarter of 2019."
Napier Airport Ltd, is co-owned by the Crown (50 per cent), Napier City Council (26 per cent) and Hastings District Council (24 per cent).
Arrow central region general manager Chris Goldsbury said the company was thrilled to partner the airport team to deliver such "highly important infrastructure" for the people and businesses of Hawke's Bay.
"The project will be a true team effort, with Hawke's Bay Airport's staff, designers and consultants all working closely with Arrow and our subcontractors to ensure the project runs smoothly.
"Community engagement will be hugely important. We'll need all the support we can get from the Hawke's Bay community – airport users, staff, airlines, visitors, business operators and especially the high level of skills, expertise and capability within the local construction supply chain. This will very much be a local project, built by and for local people."
The airport's operational continuity and ease of use for the public would be the top priority and driving factor in all planning and carrying out of construction work.
Project manager, Steve Birkhead of Integrating Architecture, who has been involved since June 2017 managing the completion of the design phase and tendering the project, will now oversee the construction of the new terminal.
Mr Birkhead said the staged construction project will be challenging and will require operational changes to be made throughout the project.
"We are aiming to keep the airport operating on a business as usual basis. There are sure to be minor disruptions but our aim is to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible."
The design, based on the wings of a bird, enables future growth with the majority of the complex design elements in the centre of the building, making additional expansion to the north simple and cost-efficient.
The 3800m2 expanded terminal was needed due to strong passenger growth and the resulting demands on existing airport infrastructure.
Ms Yule added that over the past two years, passenger movements had risen 37 per cent to 652,000 passengers.
"We have had exponential growth over the last couple of years due to a significant increase in airline capacity, driven by the arrival of a second airline in Jetstar and Air New Zealand switching to larger capacity aircrafts, all of which has created competition for passengers and enabled growth of the region's business and tourism sectors."
"The airport is a major gateway for the region, so as well as catering for increased passengers and visitors, the expansion is also about enhancing their experience," Ms Yule said.
The project would see check-in areas installed at the southern end of the terminal and a new automated baggage handling system at the opposite end.
There would also be a dedicated arrivals gate instead of the current practice of departures and arrivals from the same gate.
New facilities would include a cafe, and offices for Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Sounds Air airlines.
A new entranceway at the intersection of Watchman Road, SH2 and Meeanee Quay has already started and scheduled for completion by September, 2018.