Busy times ahead for airport
With passenger numbers set to reach 630,000 in the 2016/17 year and over 700,000 the following year, Palmerston North Airport is gearing up to accommodate the growth. The airport welcomed 515,727 passengers in the twelve months to June 2016, a record for domestic passengers at the airport, with a growth of 21% since Jetstar’s launch in February alone.
Palmerston North Airport Chief Executive David Lanham said the airport is well placed to accommodate the projected growth in passenger numbers. “We have taken another step on the growth path by opening the extended arrivals hall designed to improve passenger flows through our terminal.” Two bag carousels are now available, greatly improving the speed with which arriving passengers will be able to retrieve their checked bags. The rental car firms have been relocated to the extended arrivals area making it easy for arriving passengers to locate, while reducing congestion around the check-in areas. A new exit and entry door at the eastern end of the terminal further improves arriving passenger flows through the terminal and to the car park and bus stop. And the airport has also added 50 car parks to the secure car park and opened the extended arrivals/ departures lobby area. Palmerston North City Council Planner Michael Duindam said the new District Plan provisions for the Airport Zone, brought about through Plan Change 15 A-H, will support the Airport’s growth plans. “The new District Plan enables warehousing, retail, hotels, and a wide range of other activities you would expect to see at a modern airport. It also allows for continued 24/7 operation of the airport and the extension of the runway to the west”. Duindam also notes that there has been a strong focus on making sure that the Airport Zone is developed as a welcoming entrance to the City. “Council staff are working collaboratively with the Airport to develop a streetscape design plan to create an attractive regional gateway for Palmerston North.”
Photo courtesy of Palmerston North Airport