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A survey of the views of all Marlborough Airport users will be conducted by the airport company as part of the planning for the expansion of the current terminal facilities.
The airport company is owned by the Marlborough District Council’s MDC Holdings.
Mayor Alistair Sowman says Marlborough Airport is far more than simply an arrival and departure point for people and freight.
“It’s an important link in our local economy. It’s a key gateway to the region so it should be able to offer arriving visitors what they’re looking for. But it is also a significant connection point for our business community and we believe that improved facilities could enable us to better meet the needs of this sector.”
A meeting room and lounge are amongst the proposals for an enlarged terminal.
Recent timetabling disruption due to the grounding of Air New Zealand’s regional fleet of Beech 1900D aircraft and the use of the larger planes to replace these flights has led to congestion at the terminal in recent weeks.
“We’ve seen what happens with larger aircraft coming in – no seats and queues out the door – so it’s important the airport company gets moving now with this planning phase,” said the Mayor.
However no decisions will be made until the airport company has surveyed the public who use the terminal, he said.
MAL has sought technical advice on future passenger flows and preliminary layout planning but Mr Sowman says public feedback is needed before going to the next stage.
“We need to know how the terminal is meeting the needs of those who are using it, whether they are travellers, retailers, airlines, rental car firms or taxi drivers, or any other member of the public. We need to hear any suggestions for what else is needed and how we could improve facilities – before any detailed design work begins.”
The public survey begins on 23 October and will finish at the end of November. Copies of the survey will be available to fill in at the airport but it is expected that most people will go to the airport website to complete the survey www.marlboroughairport.co.nz
The existing terminal was opened in 1995. In less than a decade, the number of passengers coming through the airport had doubled and today more than 230,000 travellers are flying in and out of Marlborough Airport. Current projections suggest that passenger numbers could grow by up to 2.5% in the next few years.