Airport History

RNZAF Station, Harewood 1948

RNZAF Station, Harewood 1948

Christchurch International Airport was established in 1936 with an aerodrome at Harewood.

Development of the aerodrome at Harewood commenced in 1936. By 1946 the form of the terminal area development was established with hangars, a small terminal building, the water tower and some barracks buildings. The two runways and parallel taxiway concept was established in the early 1950's and in 1960 a new terminal building was in operation. Since that time, additions to the buildings, development of parking and access and extensions to the runway/ taxiway/ apron system have been almost continuous.

1935 Christchurch City Council selected the present site at Harewood.
1936

227 hectares of land purchased.

1937

A 915 metre runway and a 60 square metre terminal constructed.

1940

"Harewood Airport" opened for commercial flying.

1940

Airport used by RNZAF as a training base until 1945.

1948

An additional 260 hectares of land purchased.

1950

Christchurch Airport became the first international airport operating in New Zealand.

1953

Christchurch hosted the "Great London to Christchurch Air Race", the first time the route had been traversed in less than 24 hours.

1955

United States Antarctic Operations begin in Christchurch.

1960

A new 6,000 square metre terminal opened.

1962

The main runway was extended to 2,442 metres providing for commercial jet operations.

1966

An international wing was added to the Domestic Terminal.

1975

Extentions to the Domestic Terminal were completed, extending the total floor space to 16,000 square metres.

1980

New International Arrivals Hall completed, providing an additional 2,800 square metres of floor space.

1984

Main runway extended by 845 metres to 3,287 metres.

1987

Terminal extended to accommodate Ansett New Zealand and Air New Zealand lounges and domestic airbridges.

1988

Christchurch International Airport Limited was established as a company owned 75% by the Christchurch City Council and 25% by the New Zealand Government. 

1988 

International check-in and departure area extended by 2,320 square metres. 

1989 

International arrival area extended by 1,100 square metres and airbridges and associated facilities of 1,000 square metres added. 

1990 

International Antarctic Centre opened. 

1997 

Redevelopment of airport public carpark completed with an additional 340 parking spaces. 

1998 

New International Terminal Building completed creating an additional 28,000 square metres of new floor space. 

2000 

Christchurch International Airport introduced real-time Internet flight information on christchurchairport.co.nz, for both domestic and international services and became the first airport in the country to do so.

2000 

Qantas New Zealand took to the country's air routes for the first time.  

2001 

Expansion of the International Terminal to create two new international gates. 

2002 

A new satellite departure lounge was constructed for Origin Pacific to cater for growing passenger numbers. 

2003 

Pacific Blue announces Christchurch as their home base in New Zealand. 

2004 

Expansion of the International Terminal to create five more international stands and four more international airbridges. 

2005 

Jetstar commence trans-Tasman services from Christchurch. 

2006 

Construction of the Multi-level Carpark Building. 

2007 

The commencement of the Terminal Development Project

2008 

Christchurch International Airport Limited becomes the first airport company in the Southern Hemisphere to achieve carbon neutral status

2009 

Construction begins on the new integrated terminal, Jetstar commences New Zealand domestic services and the new Airways Air Traffic Control Tower opens. 

2011

Stage 1 of the Terminal Development Project is completed.

2011

AirAsia X commence services from Christchurch. 

Related Links & Downloads