Business plan

Councilors push for business plan ahead of Timaru airport upgrade

Concept designs by Timaru New Brunswick Architects on the appearance of an expanded passenger terminal at Timaru's Richard Pearse Airport.

PROVIDED

Concept designs by Timaru New Brunswick Architects on the appearance of an expanded passenger terminal at Timaru’s Richard Pearse Airport.

Timaru District Councilors want a proper business plan formed before approving any possible expansion of Richard Pearse Airport.

The business plan could entail the expansion of the passenger terminal and the demolition of the airport’s old observation tower to make way for possible improvements, and was supported by all councilors at the meeting of the council infrastructure committee on Tuesday.

The council decided on the business plan after the tabling of a report by the council’s group manager, Andrew Dixon, which contained three options for a possible upgrade that would extend the airport terminal from 500 square meters to 1,174 m2 and would lead to the demolition of the old airport control tower. .

Councilors voted to extend, subject to a business case and consultation with stakeholders.

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Cr Gavin Oliver asked if Air New Zealand had approved any of the future arrangements.

Dixon said the passenger terminal was around 70 per cent capacity during peak hours, and Air NZ said it wanted separate arrival and departure entrances to accommodate any increase in capacity.

“There is a need to future-proof the terminal for its operational capacity and to develop the infrastructure to support continued scheduled flight services to and from Timaru,” he said.

The Richard Pearse airport terminal could be in line for expansion if a suitable business plan can be sorted out.  (File photo)

AIMAN AMERUL MUNER / Stuff

The Richard Pearse airport terminal could be in line for expansion if a suitable business plan can be sorted out. (File photo)

The terminal underwent a $1 million upgrade in May 2018, during which Air NZ went from a 19-seater aircraft to 50 passenger aircraft, and there was a need to increase the capacity to cope with this increase.

“As a result of this increase in air passenger capacity, the airport facilities put the board at risk of being outside accepted standards for spatial requirements in airport design,” Dixon said.

“At times, particularly on late morning flights when aircraft are close to capacity, the number of people in the terminal building – passengers, visitors, staff and crew – approaches the maximum number of people in the terminal building allowed under of the construction mandate. fitness centre, i.e. 128 people.

Deputy Mayor Steve Wills felt it would be beneficial to keep the terminal on one floor, as it would give more options for expansion in the future.

The project is listed as an approved project in the long-term plan with $1.718 million allocated in the 2022-2023 annual plan.

Concept designs by Timaru New Brunswick Architects on the appearance of a proposed expanded passenger terminal at Timaru's Richard Pearse Airport.

PROVIDED

Concept designs by Timaru New Brunswick Architects on the appearance of a proposed expanded passenger terminal at Timaru’s Richard Pearse Airport.

Cr Allan Booth said the airport is an ‘essential part of our infrastructure’ and is just as important as the port.

Booth said there was a lot of potential for growth as Timaru Airport is a “central gateway to the South Island”, especially if there are “Auckland flights to Timaru”.

But he said it was important to look at potential growth because he doesn’t want what happened in 2019 to happen again, when the council had to increase the size of the car park around 12 months after the terminal was upgraded .

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that councilors had unanimously approved an option to move the terminal expansion forward through the long-range plan process.