Users of New Plymouth Airport will start seeing changes to the view and baggage claim areas this month as initial preparations start for building the new terminal.
Contractors will begin work on a temporary building housing the Air New Zealand Regional Lounge and baggage claim area, says airport Chief Executive Wayne Wootton.
The building, next to the departure gate and along the frontage looking out on to the tarmac, is due to be completed in the first few months of next year.
Visitors to the airport will notice changes to the view out to the tarmac and the aircraft stands, says Mr Wootton. All other parts of the terminal will continue to operate as normal.
“This is an exciting time as we transform from a 1960s airport while working closely with Puketapu hapu on the design. Each year around half a million people use the airport which is the gateway to Taranaki,” says Mr Wootton.
The current baggage claim area, to the left of the main terminal entrance going in, will be mostly demolished when the temporary facility is built, as will part of the baggage processing area behind the Air New Zealand check-in. Both these areas overlap with the footprint of the planned new terminal.
Other work around the outside of the new terminal such as changes to the public and rental car parks, are expected to start by the end of this year.
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.
Construction of the new terminal is scheduled to start next year and be completed in the later part of 2019.
The airport company is independently run and wholly owned by the NPDC.