Annual performance sees passenger numbers, revenue, and profit all take off
Hawke’s Bay Airport today released its FY2023 Annual Report, covering the 12 months to 30 June 2023.
Chair Wendie Harvey says the airport has had a big year that included the response to Cyclone Gabrielle, a significant uplift in passenger numbers, and the airport being recognised domestically for excellence, and internationally for its sustainability efforts.
“I am incredibly proud of our team. Not only for their efforts during the cyclone, but also for the work they do every day to contribute to Hawke’s Bay’s prosperity and resilience.”
Key highlights for FY2023
The end of Covid-19 restrictions and increased demand for air travel connections, particularly post cyclone, have positively impacted the airport’s net profit after tax performance, says Mrs Harvey.
“We play an important role in securing the passenger and freight air services that Hawke’s Bay needs to stay connected nationally and globally. That’s why we were pleased to attract Sunair for weekday connections to Wairoa and Gisborne, especially at a time when our region’s roading networks are still vulnerable following the February cyclone.
“While we will continue to focus on growing passenger numbers, we expect future growth to be more modest in comparison to post-Covid and cyclone levels. The pandemic has taught us that as a business it is crucial we develop other revenue streams so that we are not solely reliant on air services for our income.
“That’s why we have turned our attention to strategic priorities to propel us into the future, including the business park development, digital transformation, and the solar farm,” she says.
Airport CEO Rob Stratford says the Airport’s essential lifeline role through Cyclone Gabrielle has also driven a review of priorities, with several projects relating to connectivity and resilience – apron upgrade, parking enhancement, and a new roundabout on State Highway 2 – now at the front of the queue.
“However, we remain committed to our other strategic priorities such as the solar farm, which we are progressing, and anticipate having assessments completed by the end of this year, for resource consent to be lodged in early 2024,” he says.
The Airport continues to make significant progress towards its sustainability objectives, refreshing its sustainability policy during the year, and achieving a major milestone with its Level 4+ carbon accreditation status.
“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do,” says Mr Stratford. “And it is a journey made in increments. We continue to make progress, delivering projects to reduce absolute carbon emissions as well as an increased focus on climate adaptation and resilience.
“Every year our capex programme includes projects that will help the airport to decarbonise. This year we have new lower emission vehicles, new LED carpark lighting, and smart sensors in the terminal to give real time readings on electricity and water use, and indoor air quality to identify energy efficiency opportunities.
“Our ticketless parking initiative, part of our digital transformation journey, uses licence plate recognition software, and saves more than 300,000 single use paper tickets annually,” he says.
The Airport also partnered with Hawke’s Bay Tourism (HBT) to secure hosting rights for the 2024 Australasian Airports Conference, a first for New Zealand, and also supported HBT in its successful submission for Hawke’s Bay to be named as a Great Wine Capital of the World.