A record number of passengers went through New Plymouth Airport in March, highlighting the growing attraction of Taranaki as a destination and the region’s thriving economy.
March is normally the airport’s busiest month and passenger numbers had been expected to break the 40,000 mark for the first month ever, says Chief Executive Wayne Wootton.
“When the numbers were in, not only did we break the barrier, but we went through the 41,000 mark with a total of 41,051 passengers through the airport during March,” says Mr Wootton.
“This is amazing considering that the current terminal was originally designed for 50,000 passengers a year.”
The March numbers were up 3.8 per cent from March last year and bring the 12-month figure since April last year to a new high of 434,000 passengers.
“WOMAD has a big influence on the March figures and this year we also had the ITU Triathlon in New Plymouth, which helped too,” says Mr Wootton.
With other users, such as friends and family, the total number of people at the airport in March was estimated at 56,000.
Work is underway on a new terminal to replace the current building, which was built in the 1960s.
The new terminal, with a budget between $22 million and $29 million, is expected to be operating in late 2019.