Passenger numbers travelling through Rotorua Airport have hit a 10-year high – and an upgrade of the airport’s terminal will better position the airport for further growth.
Figures for the 2018 year showed more than 253,854 passenger movements through Rotorua Airport – 12,551 more than the previous year and the highest number since 2008.
Presenting his quarterly report to Rotorua Lakes Council’s operations and monitoring committee, Rotorua Airport chief executive Mark Gibb says the positive performance has been across all passenger sectors and demonstrates the need for the terminal upgrade.
Work has begun on stage one of the redevelopment, which will see the arrivals hall upgraded, before work moves to a walkway link between departures and arrivals and the upgrade of the existing departures hall.
“This redevelopment will future-proof the airport, ensure we meet new security and seismic strengthening requirements and cater for the growing number of passengers,” says Mr Gibb.
“Just as importantly, it’s about improving the first impression for visitors, welcoming them with the manaakitanga Rotorua is known for and creating a facility Rotorua can be proud of.”
Mr Gibb says the quarter two results highlight the airport’s strong financial position, and the redevelopment will ensure it stays that way.
Work on the redevelopment is being carried out in two phases to minimise disruption and is expected to be finished by late 2019.
The terminal redevelopment is funded from cash reserves which result from the airport’s trading activities and accumulated depreciation allowances. Any shortfall will be funded from the current overdraft facility the airport has in place with its bank.
Work is also continuing on the development of the Airport’s Masterplan, to guide future growth aspirations.
“The Masterplan will allow us to grow our broader revenue base. By doing this we can ensure the airport’s operations can fund our running costs, such as depreciation, interest and capital expenditure, and reduce the reliance on Council and ratepayers.”