Queenstown Airport is celebrating 20 years of international air services with another major milestone – the opening of its new $17 million international terminal. July 1st was the official opening and a new customers area and biosecurity area are due to open in mid July
The 4,100sqm expansion to the southern end of the terminal building has doubled the size of the airport’s international operations and features new and improved facilities, products and services. Key features include two new gate lounges which continue the theme of stunning floor-to-ceiling alpine views, a new state-of-the-art Customs processing area, expanded airside retail outlets, a third baggage carousel and back-of-house handling areas.
The opening of the new international terminal is well timed with a record 22 trans-Tasman flights due to arrive and depart Queenstown this Saturday. This comes amid a record breaking week for the fastest growing aerodrome in Australasia.
Queenstown Airport Chief Executive Scott Patterson said “It’s great news for the region. Fantastic news for our airlines and customers. Last year we had 10 international movements (in one day). Eight the previous year. This year it’s 11. On Monday we had 10 in and we just handled it.”
“July and August are our two busiest months and the other significant thing is it’s 20 years since our first international flights. Winter is just starting but we have peaked already and that’s because of Australia school holidays. Ten international flights will not necessarily be the norm but regular throughout winter.”
Last Saturday, the number of passengers using the airport was just 28 shy of the record. Then on Monday the previous daily record of 1360 was smashed with 1540 passengers in one day.
International passenger numbers have grown exponentially from 24,000 in 2005 to 381,000 this year. By 2025, international numbers are expected to increase to 660,000 people. The airport currently welcomes 1.38 million visitors a year.
Source: The Mirror, Queenstown