Airport gearing for growth


The $4 million expansion of Marlborough Airport's terminal building in Woodbourne is expected to start next week.

Airport manager Dean Heiford said the extensions would increase public space at the airport, easing the pressure from growing passenger numbers and larger aircraft flying into Marlborough.

The design, by Auckland architectural practice Warren and Mahoney, would push the 19-year-old terminal out to the south and north with a new glass front facing north.

The expansion would mean a substantial increase in passenger waiting areas, space for queuing at the ticket counters would increase substantially, and a third arrival and departure gate would be installed, Heiford said.

Access to the baggage collection area would be under cover and more public toilets provided. A mezzanine floor has been included to provide a meeting area for the business sector.

Moving the rental car companies beyond the terminal to a new building closer to parking facilities would also free up a significant amount of space, Heiford said.

It meant there would be room to expand the cafe and shop within the terminal building, he said.

The cafe would stay open during the extension work, but Heiford said there was likely to be disruption to operations within the terminal building during the work.

"We do appreciate that customers may be affected and we will be doing all we can to minimise any inconvenience," Heiford said.

"We will be asking people to be patient as the project progresses."

Contract negotiations for the terminal extensions were still under way, with work due to be started in mid-June.

It was scheduled to be finished by the summer.

The new design would ease the congestion from more passen- gers using the building, he said.

"The key features of the new design are driven by people movements and operational needs and we expect these extensions to cater for the next 20 years' growth in passengers and freight," Heiford said.

He said the design allowed for future expansion to both the building footprint and to the mezzanine floor area.

Air New Zealand regional affairs manager Ian Collier said the terminal improvements were a significant step forward, providing for existing demand and the growth in passenger numbers projected for the region.

"It is very encouraging to see the terminal upgrade proceeding and we have appreciated the opportunity to work so closely on this project with the Marlborough District Council and Destination Marlborough".

Destination Marlborough general manager Tracy Johnston said the terminal upgrade would make a big difference in responding to the larger aircraft now operating due to the increased demand, especially on the Auckland Marlborough direct service.

"For both business and leisure visitors travelling by plane the terminal forms their first and last impression of Marlborough," Johnston said.

"This redevelopment opens up the opportunity to showcase the region and communicate with travellers to ensure they make the most of their stay in the region and are encouraged to come back again soon."


Key facts about the extension:

A new third gate is provided Passenger space increases by 200 per cent Queueing and lobby space increases by 100 per cent A mezzanine floor is added, for business meetings Rental cars move out to a new space by the car park The building goes from 738 square metres to 1393 square metres

The Marlborough Express