Nelson's $32 million airport redevelopment cleared for take-off

Images of Nelson Airport re-design by Studio Pacific Architects.

Images of Nelson Airport re-design by Studio Pacific Architects.

Nelson firm Gibbons Construction is one of the main firms awarded the $32 million Nelson Airport new terminal contract.

National construction firm Naylor Love, will work with Gibbons and Fulton Hogan, on the build which is scheduled to take 18 months. Work is scheduled to start in the "coming weeks".

Nelson Airport's board chairman Paul Steer said the board was pleased the process selecting the contractors was complete.

Images of Nelson Airport re-design by Studio Pacific Architects.

Images of Nelson Airport re-design by Studio Pacific Architects.

"The company is confident that construction will meet our objective of a modern, highly functional terminal and a gateway reflective of our Nelson Tasman region.

Nelson Airport CEO Rob Evans said the team was excited to be getting on with the job after a long design period. 

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Images of Nelson Airport re-design by Studio Pacific Architects.

Images of Nelson Airport re-design by Studio Pacific Architects.

The need for the new terminal was spurred by the huge growth in passenger numbers the terminal was seeing.

Domestic tourism growth had been at 25 per cent a year since 2015. A record 986,000 passengers used the airport in 12-months to April, and this figure was expected to reach one million by the end of the year.

The airport's growth was the highest of any regional airport in the country.

The new airport terminal has been designed by Studio Pacific Architecture. 

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Timber will feature prominently throughout the Nelson building, and a unique roof structure has been designed to mimic the western ranges, which can be viewed through the "floor to ceiling" windows.

The building will use and showcase Nelson grown and processed Nelson Pine Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL).

The new terminal building will be twice the size of the existing one and the number of car parks at the airport will increase from 600 to 900.

The construction phase would make no disruptions to airlines however Evans advised passengers to allow and extra 15 minutes for potential detours.

"From a customer perspective just give yourself a little more time once construction starts. There will be, obviously, roading changes, access changes and temporary fencing."

The number of people employed for the project is unknown at this stage.

Naylor Love Construction's Canterbury regional manager Graeme Earl said it was a privilege to work on the project, which would start in the coming weeks.

"It's great we'll be using a local product so extensively in this building. I'm sure that Nelson will be proud of their stunning new terminal building and the project will provide significant opportunities for the region," Earl said.

Gibbons Construction chief operating officer Shane Trench added said the redesign was a "once-in-a-generation" opportunity which had huge significance as the gateway to the Nelson region. 

In 2014, the Nelson City Council deemed the existing 1974 Nelson airport terminal earthquake-prone and gave the airport 10 years to strengthen it.

Nelson Airport Ltd looked at renovating or extending it, but it was not cost-effective.

The 2017/18 Nelson Airport redevelopment will be met by Nelson Airport Ltd and external funding. No ratepayer money will be sought for the project.

 - Stuff

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