On 20th April the Government announced New Zealand will move to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 on Tuesday 28th April.
Whilst the Aviation industry remains largely grounded during Level 3, there are some signs of optimism for Hawke’s Bay with Air New Zealand announcing the recommencement of scheduled flights to the region for those travelling under essential circumstances. The easing of lockdown controls also permits on-site work for the Building and Construction sector providing an opportunity for the region’s Airport to recommence construction of its terminal redevelopment project.
The site was temporarily closed on 23rd March however the project’s design and management teams have continued working remotely to minimise the impact of the national lockdown to the overall program. A comprehensive COVID-19 management plan has also been developed to set out the procedures that will be implemented to ensure construction can be completed safely in a level 3 environment. This includes the introduction of contactless systems, updated site plans and measures around site distancing, cleaning requirements and site operations.
The construction management team are currently liaising with the project’s various sub-contractors and suppliers to ensure all parties are appropriately prepared and inducted ahead of the anticipated return to work. The site will reopen on Tuesday 28th April with construction underway by the following Monday.
Hawke’s Bay Airport CEO Stuart Ainslie is excited at the prospect of works recommencing and not just from an airport perspective. “Getting this project going again is important to the airport but perhaps even more so the region, especially the local construction supply chain. The project is supporting over 200 jobs with 30 individual sub-contractors engaged - nearly all of them are local Hawke’s Bay businesses.”
The project is now into its third and final stage and Ainslie suggests some exciting construction milestones are just around the corner. “There’s going to be a huge amount of structural steel pop up over the next fortnight which will give the community some real perspective of what the final roofline will look like”.
Whilst the time lost to the lockdown period will result in a delay to the project’s final completion, Ainslie remains upbeat that this will be kept to a minimum. “It’s been frustrating to have to down-tools, but we’ve got a great team and they are a resilient bunch. I’m confident that we’ll see the project completed inside the first couple of months of next year”.