Passenger growth at Hawke’s Bay Airport continues to exceed expectations and has led to the company posting a record turnover of $6.6 million.
Year-on-year passenger growth is up 8 percent with 715,000 annual passengers for the rolling year through to October 2018. Net profit after tax of $1.4m, was slightly down on last year ($270,000) but was due to increased costs to comply with Civil Aviation Authority requirements, key staff appointments and costs associated with the terminal expansion.
Hawke’s Bay Airport Ltd chairman Tony Porter said the ongoing passenger growth and new revenue generating opportunities gave the company confidence in September to invest an additional $4.5m into upscaling the terminal redevelopment.
“There has been unprecedented growth for the airport company as we progressed a number of key infrastructure projects and several business development initiatives.
“Although there are many highlights, the year was marred by the tragic loss of chief executive Nick Story, who had battled illness for some time. Nick was a strategic thinker, a strong leader and well respected in the business community,” Mr Porter said.
The company has commenced work on a 20 Year Airport Masterplan with a vision of being New Zealand’s most vibrant and successful airport and reaching 1 million passengers a year by 2025.
The revised terminal from 2500m2 to 4340m2, a 74% increase including new commercial/retail opportunities within the terminal is budgeted at $20.2m. Stage 1 which will deliver the new arrivals hall including a new automated baggage area will open in mid December.
“We revised our passenger growth forecasts earlier this year and the ongoing growth gave us strong confidence to increase the terminal at this stage, rather than unnecessary rework and further capital expense shortly after opening our new terminal”
Mr Porter said the appointment of Stuart Ainslie, with strong aviation industry experience in March was also a catalyst into the review of the terminal expansion and overall strategic direction.
“Stuart has a deep understanding of the aviation industry including experience in the redevelopment of two international airports. He refocused the strategic direction which has led to a major revision to the terminal expansion.
Mr Ainslie said the full review of the strategic plan identified five key strategic areas – operations, commercial, property, partners and people that would now be a key focus.
“We’ve set our vision and a target of 1 million passengers by 2025 as well as a mission to enable safe, customer focussed and sustainable air transport services in and out of Hawke’s Bay.
“The strategic focus areas as well as the development of an Airport Masterplan will ensure that we deliver everything we’ve set out to achieve. The masterplan will include wide community and stakeholder consultation over the next 12 months.
Mr Ainslie also said that there is now a heightened awareness of the airport having a “sense of place” as well as committing to the development of an environmental management plan.
“The Airport is situated in a beautiful natural environment and we acknowledge the responsibility it bears to preserve this for future generations. We will also lift our level of engagement with our key stakeholders, business partners and the community.”
Mr Ainslie said the terminal upgrade is tracking to schedule, with stage 1 nearing completion and stage 2 already well underway. The terminal will be fully completed by second quarter of 2020.
“We are focussing on delivering a place that provides visitors with a true taste of Hawke’s Bay – and working on some exciting projects which will help create something that showcases the best of what Hawke’s Bay has to offer whilst enhancing customer experience.