Planning is under way to expand our terminal building and to modernise the facilities here. Our owner and operator Far North Holdings hopes to start construction at the end of April this year (2018). Work to modernise the facility is expected to be complete by December, in time for the start of the peak tourism traffic.
Work on the project was originally planned for last year but was pushed back to future-proof the design against the potential introduction of new security requirements for domestic airports in New Zealand.
The bigger, better and altogether lovelier KKE will have automated check-in, roomier departure and arrival areas, and a separate luggage collection area. Hoorah, kapai and applause all round, please!
During construction the check-in and departures area will be moved into space currently used by the Bay of Islands Aero Club. Work on converting this area will start shortly and will be complete by the end of March.
We expect to notify in April the winning tender for the construction project.
Passengers using the temporary departure and arrival facilities are likely to experience some disruption and we apologise for this in advance. We are holding public meetings around the district (see local press, the Far North Holdings Facebook page and local social media community groups for details) to brief these communities about what travellers can expect during construction, and about what the finished terminal will look like.
Passenger numbers have grown by a third since Air New Zealand started flying larger aircraft on the Auckland-Kerikeri route, with a record 98,844 people flying into or out of the airport last financial year (1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017).
Air New Zealand’s withdrawal from Kaitaia has generated some additional passenger numbers but most of the growth is due to an increase in tourism and business traffic between Auckland and the wider Bay of Islands region.
This is being enabled by the larger aircraft being operated by Air New Zealand on the Auckland-Kerikeri route and boosted by effective marketing. A close partnership between Air New Zealand and the Bay of Islands Marketing and Promotions Group, an organisation comprising local tourism and hospitality providers, is also having an effect.
Air New Zealand has been operating an additional three flights a week between Auckland and the Bay of Islands since November and the second half of 2017 saw 6,000 more passengers move through the terminal than over the same period in 2016.
We’re expecting traffic to continue growing for the foreseeable future, with an equal mix between business and leisure travel.
With these sorts of numbers it was essential that we did something to improve and streamline facilities at Bay of Islands Airport. We believe that anyone who’s used the airport in recent times can appreciate that.
We’ll keep you updated on the project’s progress, so watch this space.