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This morning’s blessing of Nelson’s new airport terminal in preparation for its first flights and passengers next Tuesday is a significant milestone in Nelson’s history, says Nelson MP Nick Smith.

“The airport is much more than a building – it is our link to the rest of the country and wider world. It is important for the first impressions of our visitors but also as the place we farewell our loved ones and welcome home our heroes. I love the architecture of the new terminal in mirroring our mountains, the exposed timber beams manufactured by Nelson Pine and the huge glass frontage that captures our famed sunshine.”

“I am full of praise for the Nelson Airport company, its board, management and contractors. It is a logistical nightmare undertaking a project of this scale while also safely maintaining Nelson’s air services. This is the opening of Stage A but we still have to be patient for the further work of demolishing the old terminal, the construction of Stage B and the completion of the parking and infrastructure over the next year.”

“This project is crucial to our growing tourism industry as well as for the convenience and comfort of Nelson travellers.  The old 1974 terminal was built when annual passenger numbers were 20,000 a year as compared to a million today, a growth by fifty fold.”

“I commend the Councils on backing the $30 million investment and I am also pleased to have played a role in securing cabinet approval under the last National Government for the new $5m control tower. The two matching and co-ordinated buildings provide an attractive modern gateway to the region and a much-improved workplace for the air traffic controllers and ground staff who support the airport.”

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