Busy times ahead for air­port

The Tribune (NZ) - - SAVOUR -

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

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