Nelson MP Nick Smith today welcomed the Nelson Airport Company’s proposals for redevelopment of the airport, saying it was one of the most important infrastructure issues for the region.
“Our airport is booming with a forecast of passenger numbers reaching one million within two years. The current terminal has passed its ‘Use By’ date, is overcrowded and in urgent need of redevelopment.
“I am particularly excited about the design proposal. The airport is the gateway to the region and it needs to make a statement about who we are. The extensive incorporation of timber into the design reflects the importance of our forest industry and the innovation that has gone into engineered timber. I also welcome the environmental features of the design that maximizes Nelson sunlight in the open plan and the provision of an electric car charging station. I am also encouraging the Airport Company to ensure the new terminal showcases the region’s arts and creative sectors.
“This new terminal at $32 million is a major investment in our transport and tourism infrastructure. Other regions have had to contribute to the costs of a new terminal through their rates or with a departure tax. It is a credit to the two Councils and the Nelson Airport company that it is run so commercially successfully that it does not require either a ratepayer subsidy or departure tax.
“I hope the region will get in behind these plans as this project is so important for Nelson and our visitor and aviation industries” Dr Smith concluded.