The new $237M terminal building at Christchurch Airport has been
officially opened by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon John Key.
Christchurch Airport CEO Jim Boult told 300 guests they were
part of a momentous day for the airport.
"New terminals at airports generally only occur every 50 years
or so, so you are witness to something special," he said.
"Our old terminal opened in 1960 and was built to handle around
200,000 passengers. These days we handle that number of passengers
every 13 days."
Mr Boult shared some statistics with the audience.
"During the construction of this terminal, roughly 44 million
visitors have walked through the terminal and almost 300,000
commercial flights operated through here.
"Most remarkably … in spite of the 11,000 earthquakes during
construction, snow storms, volcanic ash clouds and
other unforeseen events, we completed this project on
the budget set in 2009.
He told the guests the new terminal building is receiving very
positive feedback from the travelling public, airlines, border
agencies, retail partners and others and has won critical
"There is a series of quarterly surveys conducted independently
worldwide around major airports. It's the Airport Service Quality
surveys, known in the industry as ASQ, and across the past four
quarters, despite the fact that we were still a construction zone,
Christchurch Airport has emerged as quite simply the best airport
Mr Boult ended his speech with some words for the people of
"I hope you see this as I do - a symbol of our outstanding
rebuilt city to come and the first major piece of construction to
be completed since February 2011. I sincerely hope it is not 50
years until the next terminal is built - it's my hope that our
rebuilt city proves such a drawcard that we run out of room long
before that time."
Background facts and figures
The old CIAL domestic passenger terminal was opened in 1960,
when annual passenger numbers were only 200,000. In 2010, total
passenger numbers reached six million. Although the old
terminal underwent several expansions and upgrades, continuous
growth meant it was clearly time to consider a replacement.
Options for replacement began to be considered back in 2003.
After a series of assessment and assessment processes, the design
was finalised in 2008 and construction began in July 2009.
The new terminal building replaces the old domestic terminal as
well as the international check-in and related baggage handling
infrastructure. International departure and arrival areas were
already adequately sized and so did not need replacement.
The new building therefore needed to be located across the same
footprint as the old building and be integrated into the existing
international building. Common or "integrated" facilities
that could be shared by domestic and international operations were
a design feature.
A significant challenge of the project was the careful staging
required to allow airline operations to continue unaffected during
the four years of construction. Practical completion of the new
terminal building was achieved in stages - the first stage in April
2010 and the final stage in March 2013.
The project budget for the new terminal building and associated
works was$237Mand construction was completed within 1% of budget,
in spite of the effects of the Canterbury earthquakes.
During the four years of construction,more than 40 million
visitorshave passed through the terminal andapproximately 300,000
commercial aircraft movementshave accessed the airport.
The new airport terminal is a sustainable and efficient
operation and had to fit with the airport company's environmental
policies and carbonZero accreditation.
Travellers rate it the best
The new terminal is a resounding success and is receiving praise
from all quarters. The Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Survey
is conducted quarterly across about 200 airports worldwide. It
measures overall passenger satisfaction with the airport and by
specific service areas including check-in, security, food and
beverage facilities and retail facilities. Each airport's
performance is measured against others in its country and
Across the terminal development, Christchurch Airport's ASQ
results showed steady improvement. The most recent quarterly survey
business and leisure travellers gave Christchurch Airport
thehighest overall satisfaction ratingacross airports in
Australasia, a rating echoed by the 2012 annual overall rating.
In the wider context, the Christchurch Airport experience has
underscored the reality that airports are a vital piece of
infrastructure for any city. The airport was open within a
few hours of the September 2010 quake and open for emergency
flights within 90 minutes of the February 22nd 2011
quake. Medical evacuations and other flights got people out
and essential supplies and emergency staff in and CIAL's actions
are therefore credited with saving 25 to 30 lives.
Economic and Financial Factors
Christchurch Airport is New Zealand's second largest airport and
welcomes around six million passengers a year. Another
five million come through the airport to greet and farewell those
passengers, so that's around 11 million visitors to the campus per
year. Metaphorically, the population of Timaru arrives on the
Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL) last year assessed
the economic impact of the airport, focussing on additional
activity and expenditure generated in the Canterbury region and the
wider South Island for the 2010 calendar year as a direct result of
the presence of the airport. The assessment found Christchurch
Airport generated $1.7 billion in regional GDP. That's
6% of the total GDP for Canterbury and 3.9% of the total GDP for
the South Island as a whole.
In that year, almost 6000 people were employed on the airport
campus in full time, part time or casual roles, making it the
largest single centre of employment in the South Island. The
airport also created employment for 20,300 full time equivalents on
and off campus, which is 8.3% of total FTEs in the Canterbury
region and 4.4% of total FTEs for the whole South Island. These
figures have been adversely affected by the earthquakes but will
show a considerable increase in the future.
However, there is no doubt the contribution from the airport is
significant. There are two main parts to the contribution -
one is activity generated by the expenditure of foreign and
domestic tourists who pass directly through the airport. The
other is activity from all operations on the airport - that's
support activity such as the operations of the airport itself,
aircraft and airfield maintenance etc.