• Hawke's Bay's new airport terminal opens for business

Hawke's Bay's new airport terminal opens for business

Hawke's Bay Airport has been on a turbulent flight since expansion plans were first drawn, but the project has successfully landed with the result being a new, modern terminal. 

Getting to this point is a "testament" to everyone that's been involved, Hawke's Bay Airport Chief Executive Officer Stuart Ainslie told Hawke's Bay App.

"Especially when you look at all the challenges that we've had. We lost our major contractor, lost a major airline, had a global pandemic, and it all happened in the space of two-and-a-half years.

This morning, the first passengers of the day were welcomed into the new terminal by EIT's Kapa Haka group who performed a karanga and waiata. Just days, if not hours before the unveiling, a myriad of contractors filled every inch of the airport, painting, plastering and installing the new high-tech equipment. "What a difference a few days make," Ainslie says. 

Although unfinished work on the outside of the building will be completed come its formal opening on October 7, Ainslie said they wanted to get passengers into the new terminal as soon as it was operational.

With construction starting early 2018, the central building represents the final piece in a three-part project joining the departures and arrival lounges and providing a space that has retail and hospitality offerings.

The multimillion-dollar terminal was designed in partnership with Designgroup Stapleton Elliott architect, Chris Ainsworth, and local artist, Jacob Scott, from Mauvan Scott Architects – who provided input on behalf of Hawke’s Bay Airport’s mana whenua partner, Mana Ahuriri. 

"Someone said to me recently that it felt like the terminal was almost like a gallery. And it's got a lot of really beautiful cultural features reflected in the sense of place that we have in Hawke's Bay and I think that people will be able to really enjoy that space," Ainslie said. 

Throughout the redeveloped terminal various touchpoints showcase what is unique to Hawke’s Bay. "Every element of the building has been carefully considered and plays its part in telling Hawke’s Bay’s unique cultural and historical stories." 

It features about 160 digitally designed and carved ceiling and wall panels, designed by Scott, that each tell a unique story of the region. The unique and significant feature is something Ainslie says they would like the airport's 29 ambassadors to know. 

"We want our ambassadors and our team to learn the stories and feel confident with telling the stories themselves."