Airport 1

15 April 2019 Kate Palmer

A significant redevelopment is setting Hawke’s Bay Airport on the way to becoming New Zealand’s most vibrant and successful airport. Helping bring this vision to life is a team of WSP Opus engineering experts.

Growing to meet demand

Between 2017 and 2018 passengers through Hawke’s Bay Airport increased by 8%, totalling 715,000 for the year. At the same time Air New Zealand announced an additional 12 one-way flights between Napier and Auckland, while Origin Air introduced new flights from Napier to New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Nelson.

With annual passenger arrivals tipped to reach the one million mark in 2025 and, given the existing infrastructure wasn’t designed to accommodate this level, the decision was made to redevelop.

WSP Opus is providing engineering services for the multi-million dollar redevelopment that will increase capacity, and improve the passenger and visitor experience.

A work in progress

The three-stage project involves extending the terminal, creating new drop off and pick up locations, re-modelled car parking and installing the airport’s first automated baggage system – which has the capacity to deal with 2.5 million bags a year.

The first stage, a new northern terminal end, opened in January. A new southern terminal end is currently being constructed with an upgraded and revitalised central terminal due for completion next year. On completion Hawke’s Bay Airport will have doubled in size and include new commercial and retail opportunities, including offices for Air New Zealand, Jet Star and Sound Air.

Undertaking a redevelopment while the airport is operational hasn’t been without it’s difficulties says Mariusz Tarnowski, WSP Opus Technical Principal Building Services. “Airline check in areas will be moved to the southern end of the terminal while the new automated baggage collection system is installed at the northern end. This presented significant sequencing challenges for the design and construction teams.”

Leaning on expertise

For the project team, collaborating to overcome these challenges has been a rewarding learning experience, as has the opportunity to work on a such a landmark project.

WSP Opus experts from around the country have been involved in the project; Structural and Building Services design has been provided from our Wellington and Hamilton offices respectively with Civil design provided by Napier.

“It’s really satisfying to be able to work on a project that will open up significant economic opportunities and provide a fantastic gateway to visitors to this spectacular region.”

The expansion project is one of a number of infrastructure projects Hawke’s Bay Airport will undertake in coming years. The airport team is midway through an update to its overarching Masterplan – designed to ensure safe, customer-focused and sustainable air transport in and out of Hawke’s Bay and to make the very best use of the 183Ha site, now and into the future.