Hawke’s Bay Airport is taking a punt announcing a date for the opening of its new terminal – it’s pending Council sign-off on the building.
But fingers crossed, the redeveloped terminal will be open the first week of August, with a Mana Ahuriri blessing on Monday 2 August and the first flights arriving and departing through the new building on Wednesday 4 August “all going well”.
When it does open – and we seriously hope it is the first week of August as navigating ramps, prefabs, pipes and cords while wrangling luggage hasn’t been ideal – it will be a gorgeous thing and a fitting welcome mat to the region.
Visitors arriving from the carpark will enter the building under a timber waharoa (gateway) symbolising the beak of the kuaka that nest nearby. A foyer leads to a central space that hosts new retail and hospitality spaces, including a Bay Espresso café and Roosters Brewery bar. The space also features luxe bathrooms, a large viewing mezzanine, a children’s play area and installations that tell Hawke’s Bay’s stories.
There is still some exterior cladding and landscaping to be finished, but the airport team was keen to allow the visitors to start using the terminal as soon as it was operational.
“There will definitely be a buzz in the air when the passengers from the first few flights come through, the airport starts to fill with people and the coffee machine starts humming,” says Hawke’s Bay Airport chief executive Stuart Ainslie.
“This is a huge milestone for our team and all the partners we’ve been working with. It’s a significant achievement considering all the challenges we’ve faced. We can’t wait to see the reactions as visitors see what we’ve been working on for all this time.”