A Whanganui district councillor is incensed that she and 160 airport users were unable to buy refreshments when the airport's cafe closed for the Queen's Birthday holiday on Monday.

Philippa Baker-Hogan said the South Beach Cafe also remained closed on key public holidays over the Christmas and New Year period and felt the issue needed to be brought to a head.

"I've questioned council and holdings about this by email and in meetings lately with no satisfactory response to date," Ms Baker-Hogan said.

"I personally struggle how we can launch 'Whanganui, all you need and then some' and keep increasing spend in economic development when our gateway to the world - our airport can't even provide a cuppa or any refreshments on public holidays to valuable Air Chathams customers.


"This issue needs to be sorted once and for all and quickly."

She said an airport staffer told her there were 160 passengers passing through the airport on Monday, plus their supporters, and there were no refreshments available due to the cafe being shut.

In February Ms Baker-Hogan wrote to the Chronicle over the issue.

"If our council can't influence our retailers or our airport to try and reap some economic development benefits and bring back visitors to Whanganui, then what a damn waste of ratepayer money.

"Whanganui - all you need and then some - how about an inviting airport?

The airport website claims the cafe is open seven days a week providing breakfast, brunch and snack options together with espresso coffee, teas and a wide range of cold drinks.

It does not mention being closed on public holidays.

Airport manager Allan MacGibbon said the decision to close on public holidays was made by the airport board and was based on his recommendation.


"This has been the subject of a number of reports to council. It is about controlling losses," Mr MacGibbon said.

He said further comment should come from board chairman Matt Doyle, who was unable to be contacted yesterday.