Motorists heading to New Plymouth Airport will find changes to the car park and road layout this month.
These will be the first phase of the enabling works that lay the groundwork for construction of the new terminal.
Entering the airport zone on Airport Drive, motorists will see the speed limit has been lowered from 50km per hour to 30km/h.
This will help them adjust to changes in the road ahead and to accommodate traffic movements related to the construction work.
The route to the drop-off area and the taxi and shuttle road will divert to the right just past the main car park entrance.
The new road layout will help separate airport user traffic from construction traffic going to the new terminal site just to the west of the current terminal.
The main entrance to the car park will stay where it is initially, but will be moved southwards (away from the terminal) as work progresses.
Part of the northern side car park will be temporarily reallocated to rental cars, while additional public spaces will be created at the southern side.
“This is when the vision starts to become reality. Over the coming months, airport visitors will see the new gateway to Taranaki taking shape just to the left of the old terminal as they come along Airport Drive,” said airport Chief Executive Wayne Wootton.
“We would urge airport users to give themselves plenty of time when travelling to the airport as traffic movements might be a little slower as people adapt to the works.”
In September, the directors of the airport company, Papa Rererangi i Puketapu, said in a report to the Council that they had agreed the proposed design, including the cultural narrative created in partnership with the Puketapu hapu, is fit for purpose.
The proposed terminal cost is estimated at between $21.7 million and $28.7 million.
Construction of the new terminal is scheduled to start in April next year and it is expected to be operating in the second half of 2019.
The new board will be responsible for ensuring it is completed on time and within budget.
More than 425,000 passengers and about 150,000 “meeters and greeters” a year currently use the airport terminal, which was originally designed for 50,000 passengers in the 1960s.
Airport fast facts
- It’s the fourth busiest regional airport in New Zealand.
- It’s the gateway to Taranaki and about 425,000 people use it each year.
- Air New Zealand (flying to Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington), Jetstar (Auckland) and Originair (Nelson) all use it.
- Built in 1967, the terminal is being regenerated at a cost of about $25 million.
- Construction starts in April 2018 and will be completed by August 2019.
- It’s owned by NPDC and independently managed by a board of directors.