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Hawke’s Bay Airport welcomes visitors to new arrivals hall


Hawke’s Bay Airport welcomes first visitors to new arrivals hall

Passengers arriving to the Hawke’s Bay Airport on Tuesday will be the first to collect their bags in the new arrivals hall, as the first milestone of the Airport Expansion is completed.

The new arrivals hall is undergoing its final touches including testing the new automated baggage system, a first for the airport, fitting out the vehicle rental kiosks, placing information signs and lifting off the flooring protection cover.

Hawke’s Bay Airport chief executive Stuart Ainslie said the busy Christmas holiday period is now over and it was the perfect time to open the arrivals area.

“We’re in the process of doing a final clean up, and final testing of the new automated baggage system. We’re all incredibly excited about being able to welcome visitors and locals to the arrival’s area from Tuesday onwards.

To celebrate the arrival one lucky passenger will be given a voucher for a $500 hamper supplied by local premium lamb exporter Ovation New Zealand.

As part of the final preparations the new arrivals area will be blessed by a Mana Ahuriri kaumatua at dawn on Sunday morning.

“This is a very special event as local hapu Mana Ahuriri have been very involved in the project including the design of the expanded terminal.

Mr Ainslie said it is important to note that although it is very exciting to reach the first milestone, the “full wow” will not be revealed until the $20.2m redevelopment is completed in mid 2020.

With the new automated baggage system being commissioned, the old ‘tractor, trailer unit system’ will have its last journey on Monday night. The first flight on Tuesday morning is an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland, which is scheduled to arrive at 7.45am.

“The tractor trailer has been effective but with a significant increase in passengers it’s time to say goodbye and to welcome an automated system that has the capacity to handle 2.5 million bags a year.

In September the airport announced an upgrade to its expansion project following an increase in forecasted passenger numbers of 1 million by 2025. The completed terminal was revised from 2500m2 to 4340m2, a 74% increase including new commercial/retail opportunities.

“We have been able to finance the expansion from our strong balance sheet, which is a great position to be in.”

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