Nelson Airport will be getting a substantial makeover after the company’s board accepted the findings of an independent study that recommended replacing the existing terminal and control tower with a new ‘fit for purpose’ terminal that will meet the region’s future needs.
This study included input from structural and services engineers, quantity surveyors and the lead project consultants Impact Project Management and Studio Pacific Architecture. The board’s decision was presented to Nelson Airport stakeholders last week.
“We asked for a comparison of the costs, project time and inconvenience for airport users, of remediating the current facilities or undertaking a total rebuild,” says Nelson Airport chief executive Robert Evans.
“The review was very comprehensive and we received compelling reasons why a new build is the best way to provide an airport of the future that will meet our region’s growth aspirations.
“Our consultants estimate that a rebuild will be quicker than remediation, and it will also be less intrusive on operations and less expensive. It will provide much greater flexibility in terms of how we are able to use the space available,rather than trying to work around the constraints of the existing building.
Robert says it will be an opportunity to build a terminal that is distinctive and reflects the Nelson region. The current airport terminal was opened over 40 years ago but with recent airline announcements and forecast growth for the next 20-30 years,it is clear that it needs to be expanded.
“By the end of 2017 we are forecasting more than one million passengers with over 300 flights per week. That is extraordinary for a regional destination.”
Nelson Airport expects to provide further details about project timing, total costs and design elements in early 2016.
“We have had some preliminary discussions with Nelson Pine Industries and are excited about the potential to use some of their outstanding products to create a distinctive new terminal which the community can be proud of”
Robert says they will be working closely with the Nelson City Council, Tasman District Council and the community to make sure everyone is kept informed about the terminal construction project.
“We will be consulting extensively with the airlines and Airways Corporation to ensure their future needs are accommodated where possible.”