Firefighters and operations staff at Rotorua Airport will soon have a new purpose-designed building to operate from, with work on the redevelopment of the Rotorua Airport Emergency Operations Centre progressing well.
The new centre, which replaces the old fire station built in the 1960s, is expected to be finished in early August.
For fire and operations manager Rhys Frearson the new facility will be a significant step up from the old building, with firefighters and operational staff fully involved in the design process to ensure the centre best meets the needs of the growing airport.
"We are really excited to get into the new facility. After being in a building which was more than half a century old, this new facility will make a significant difference and means the airport is best prepared for emergencies."
Rotorua Airport chief executive Mark Gibb said the redevelopment of the fire and rescue facilities were necessary after a seismic survey of the existing building showed it was earthquake prone.
As well as ensuring the new facility meets current building, health and safety and airport requirements, including earthquake strengthening regulations, the redevelopment will better position the operation for the future.
"After a competitive tender process, we awarded the contract to Marra Construction.
"The existing structure has been demolished and work is now under way with the new building."
The building will house the two airport rescue tenders together with two operations response vehicles as well as other essential operations, communications and security systems.
Staff are in a temporary facility while the work is under way.
Gibb said the work was being funded from accumulated cash reserves, and was not reliant on funding from either the Rotorua Lakes Council or its ratepayers.
"This facility will allow us to continue to meet our regulatory operating requirements, today and into the future."
He said having adequate facilities for rescue teams was crucial, especially with the strong growth the airport was experiencing.
"For the last calendar year, the airport delivered 241,000 passenger movements – the highest annual result in the last decade."