Hawke’s Bay Airport has reached a major milestone with 750,000 annual passengers for the year ended June 2019.
Hawke’s Bay Airport chief executive Stuart Ainslie says passenger numbers are up eight per cent on 2018 and have grown by more than 100,000 passengers over the last two years.
"There has been a significant increase in passengers, three quarters of a million passengers is a milestone achievement and demonstrates the growing popularity of the region for tourists and business commuters.
"Although our airline partners aren’t forecasting similar levels of growth going forward, we are still anticipating growth of around 5-6 percent over the next couple of years," he says.
The fastest growing route has been between Napier and Christchurch, which grew by 11 per cent to more than 130,000 passengers.
Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited revised its forecasted passenger numbers upwards last year and this prediction came in on target.
Stuart says the terminal expansion project is progressing well, with the new Stage 2 check in and departures area set to open in mid-October this year. The three stage redevelopment is expected to be fully completed by the end of 2020.
"We did have a slight set back with the liquidation of the construction firm but we had a back-up plan which we implemented quickly and that’s ensured we aren’t too far behind at all," he says.
Stuart says as well as progressing the infrastructure project of a redeveloped terminal, management is also progressing well with the airport masterplan, with public engagement starting in September.
"We are looking forward to engaging with the community and listening to their views on the future development of their airport. There is a strong emphasis on sustainability and the airport being better connected to the surrounding environment and the people of the region."
Other significant projects expected to be completed by the end of the year include a new internal road layout and implementation of new carparking technology.