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Prime Minister opens state-of-the art regional airport in Nelson

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The opening ceremony for Nelson Airport’s impressive state-of-the-art facility was held earlier today, with Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern unveiling a plaque and receiving a behind the scenes look at the newly completed terminal.

Designed by Studio Pacific Architecture and built by Naylor Love in partnership with Gibbons Construction and Fulton Hogan, the airport terminal caters for growth projections in excess of 50% of the current 1 million passengers which have passed through the facility in the last 12 months.

Nelson Airport Ltd Chair Paul Steere said the opening ceremony was an exciting and very proud day for all those involved in the extensive redevelopment project.

"Five years ago, we began a process of replacing the old terminal. We set out to create an iconic and innovative airport precinct that would clearly characterise the region’s attributes," Steere commented. "Today, we can take pause and celebrate what we have achieved and share this wonderful occasion with the people who have supported us on the journey.

"We were delighted the Prime Minister was able to join us today in recognising this achievement and those involved in this substantial project for the region. Whether they be contractors, airlines, tenants or customers, they all had a part to play during this building period and should be proud of their collective efforts," he noted. "A quality terminal is an integral part of a good travel experience and plays an important role in creating a positive first and parting impression for visitors."

More than twice the size of the previous terminal, the new building has an indoor luggage carousel and offers more seating, airline lounges, conference rooms, toilets and retail spaces. The number of car parks has also increased from 600 to 900.

The new building has a distinctive local feel, with most of the timber and steel used in the construction sourced from Nelson Tasman. The locally grown and processed Laminated Veneer Lumber structure, the natural ventilation, solar chimneys, use of natural light and recycling initiatives are leading the way in the modern terminal.

The panoramic "floor to ceiling" windows showcase the wonderful climate and an innovative roof structure reflects the surrounding mountains and national parks in a combination of folded plates and beams.

Air New Zealand Head of Tourism and Regional Affairs Reuben Levermore says the new Nelson terminal is fantastic for the airline and the entire Nelson Tasman region.

"Nelson has become a key port on the Air New Zealand network. Over the past five years, seats on our services have increased by more than 140,000 on Nelson routes, strongly supporting the case for

a redeveloped terminal.

"The terminal will provide an excellent experience for customers and sets the airport up well for future growth. We’re also looking forward to opening a new Air New Zealand Regional Lounge at Nelson Airport before Christmas."

Andrew Crawford, Managing Director/Owner Sounds Air says the new terminal sets Nelson up to be a ‘world-class’ regional airport.

"The new terminal future-proofs Nelson for many years to come. It is certainly a game-changer and a huge asset for the region. Nelson Airport and the construction team can be very proud of their achievement."

Robert Inglis Managing Director Originair, congratulated Nelson Airport and those involved in the construction on the completion of the new facility and says "We’re looking forward to the new eye-catching terminal serving the public well now and in the future."

Nelson Airport Chief Executive Rob Evans said Nelson Airport continues to expand its services and increase its contribution to the region.

"The airport is the gateway to Nelson Tasman and has an important role in the region’s development and prosperity," says Evans. "The airport supports more than 30 businesses that contribute over $80 million to the region’s GDP and employs 1,500 people. The visitors to the region through the Airport, generate a further $85 million in GDP.

"What’s most exciting is that the new terminal sets us up to welcome more passengers to our fast-growing region and keeps us moving towards not just being the most popular region, but to be the best regional airport in New Zealand."

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