The arrival of a new airline flying into Hawke's Bay and new staffing appointments have combined to help the regional airport record dual annual records last month.
Hawke's Bay Airport yesterday posted a record $6.6 million rolling annual turnover, on the back of an 8 per cent rise in passenger movements.
Turnover, for the rolling year to the end of October was up nine per cent on last year, with 715,000 annual passengers movements recorded, including an additional 15,000 passengers since the end of June when the airport issued its last annual report for the financial year.
Net profit after tax of $1.4m, was slightly down on last year (by $270,000) but this was due to increased costs to comply with Civil Aviation Authority requirements, key staff appointments and costs associated with the terminal expansion.
Earlier this year Air New Zealand announced an additional 12 one-way flights between Napier and Auckland, while Origin Air began new scheduled flights from Napier to New Plymouth and Palmerston North in September.
Hawke's Bay Airport Ltd chairman Tony Porter said the ongoing passenger growth and new revenue generating opportunities gave the company confidence in September to invest an additional $4.5m into up scaling the terminal redevelopment.
"There has been unprecedented growth for the airport company as we progressed a number of key infrastructure projects and several business development initiatives.
"Although there are many highlights, the year was marred by the tragic loss of chief executive Nick Story, who had battled illness for some time. Nick was a strategic thinker, a strong leader and well respected in the business community."
The company had now commenced work on a 20 Year Airport Master plan with a vision of being New Zealand's "most vibrant and successful airport" and reaching a target of 1 million passengers a year by 2025.
The revised terminal, from 2500sq m to 4340sq m, a 74 per cent increase including new commercial/retail opportunities within the terminal, is budgeted at $20.2m. Stage 1 which will deliver the new arrivals hall including a new automated baggage area will open in mid-December.
"We revised our passenger growth forecasts earlier this year and the ongoing growth gave us strong confidence to increase the terminal at this stage, rather than unnecessary rework and further capital expense shortly after opening our new terminal."
Porter said the appointment of Stuart Ainslie, with strong aviation industry experience in March, was also a catalyst into the review of the terminal expansion and overall strategic direction.
"Stuart has a deep understanding of the aviation industry including experience in the redevelopment of two international airports. He refocused the strategic direction which has led to a major revision to the terminal expansion."
Ainslie said the full review of the strategic plan identified five key strategic areas – operations, commercial, property, partners and people - that would now be a key focus.
"We've set our vision and a target of 1 million passengers by 2025 as well as a mission to enable safe, customer-focused and sustainable air transport services in and out of Hawke's Bay.
"The strategic focus areas as well as the development of an Airport Master plan will ensure that we deliver everything we've set out to achieve. The Master plan will include wide community and stakeholder consultation over the next 12 months.
"The airport is situated in a beautiful natural environment and we acknowledge the responsibility it bears to preserve this for future generations. We will also lift our level of engagement with our key stakeholders, business partners and the community."
Stage 1 of the terminal upgrade is nearing completion and stage 2 is already well under way. The terminal will be fully completed by second quarter of 2020.
Ainslie said key management appointments have had a positive impact on the business and the delivery of services to passengers, commercial tenants and airline partners. Over the last 12 months Gareth Mentzer has been appointed operations manager, Jeanette Yule chief financial officer and Stephanie Murphy airport planner.
The airport is co-owned by the Crown (50 per cent), Napier City Council (26 per cent) and Hastings District Council (24 per cent).