Passenger numbers are expected to reach one million by 2030 at Hawke’s Bay Airport. The re-development of the site comprises terminal extension, creation of new dropoff/pick-up areas, re-modelling of car parking and installing the airport’s first automated baggage handling system.
The biggest challenge for this project is that it is essential for the airport to remain operational throughout the refurbishment. This required careful planning and phasing to ensure operations could run as normal.
A key part of the project required airline check-in areas to be relocated to the southern end of the terminal, with a new automated baggage collection system installed at the northern end. This created significant challenges for sequencing the design and construction teams.
The overall scale of development was changed several times during the design phases. More significant changes occurred partway through construction, via the airport’s instruction in mid-2018 to increase the southern extension by a further three bays and the Air New Zealand Regional Lounge by a combined 540m2 . The increase was driven by forecast growth in passenger movements through the terminal, the strong likelihood of future security screening requirements, and additional flight announcements by two incumbent airlines with the potential for new revenue opportunities.
The challenges the delivery team faced from the decision to provide additional space resulted in fast-tracking an updated design, while at the same time maintaining construction monitoring services.
The solution involved splitting the design packages and phases of construction works into three main stages:
- stage one, opened in January 2019, delivered the new northern terminal providing a dedicated arrivals gate, baggage claim area and a rental car concierge.
- stage two, opened in November 2019, delivered a new southern terminal with new airline check in, baggage handling system, airline offices, cargo area and dedicated departures gate.
- stage three, currently under construction, will deliver an upgraded central hospitality and retail area.
Adopting a staged design approach, the design team, the airport and contractors have collaborated closely. This ensured construction continued while a redesign of the terminal occurred in the background.
Our structural team became, temporarily, the lead consultant by firstly undertaking a concept design for the increased southern extension and central hospitality and retail area, with an additional seismic gap between both areas. Combined with the already seismically separated north end, this resulted in three separate structures, making it easier for staging the design, consenting, construction and decanting.
This project is an exciting landmark project for the region. The expanded terminal and automated baggage collection system, along with re-modelled departure and arrivals gates, will increase capacity significantly and improve the feel and flow of the airport for passengers. In addition to jobs created at the airport through the refurbishment, there are significant economic benefits to Hawke’s Bay from increased passenger numbers.