Plans for a new terminal at New Plymouth Airport have been given an independent seal of approval.
The new board of directors for the airport company, Papa Rererangi i Puketapu (PRIP), spent much of July and August reviewing the terminal design and business case.
The directors say in a report to the Council that they have agreed the proposed design, including the cultural narrative created in partnership with the Puketapu Hapu, is fit for purpose.
They cited an independent report by chartered surveyor and former Auckland International Airport executive Peter Alexander.
“It is my opinion that users of the building will find it a memorable and differentiated experience that will positively contribute to the region’s tourism proposition,” Mr Alexander said in his report.
The PRIP board report also has cost comparisons with other regional airport terminal redevelopments.
It noted that the New Plymouth Airport project cost of $6,100 per square metre compared favourably with other recent or proposed regional airport terminal works.
“While the directors were specifically asked to maintain the cultural narrative, we did review it and we noted that it had no overall impact on the footprint of the terminal and that the approximate cost of the narrative was in the order of $1 million,” says board Chair Philip Cory-Wright.
The Council will consider the board’s report at its meeting on 5 September.
The proposed terminal cost is estimated at between $21.7 million and $28.7 million.
The new board will be responsible for ensuring it is completed on time and within budget.
The airport is moving from direct Council control to becoming a Council-controlled trading organisation, a commercial company owned by NPDC.
The company operates as Papa Rererangi i Puketapu (‘the airport at Puketapu’), but the name of New Plymouth Airport will remain.
The PRIP board is:
- Chair Philip Cory-Wright, who has worked in law and corporate finance for 30 years, advising companies including Air New Zealand, Auckland International Airport and Powerco. He is a Chartered Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and his specialties include infrastructure, airports and project management.
- Leading Maori lawyer Shelley Kopu, who is a trustee of the Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa Trust. Ms Kopu is a member of the Institute of Directors and has held senior management positions in large companies, law and accountancy over her 20-year career. Her father is Te Atiawa and from Waitara, and her mother, who is Pakeha, is from Hawera.
- Former Air New Zealand senior executive Chris Myers, who returned to New Zealand in 2016 after 10 years abroad in airline executive roles, including offshore governance experience.
- Business adviser and professional director Rachel Farrant, who has more than 20 years’ experience in chartered accountancy and as a business adviser.
More than 420,000 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.