Airport $4m expansion about to begin


Major Queenstown Airport expansion begins next Monday to cater for an expected hike in visitor numbers.

The airport is pumping $4 million into a new 1470 square metre area to house a speedier baggage-handling service and bigger baggage carousel three times its current size.

With international passengers likely to spike 60 per cent over the next year and domestic visitors predicted to jump 10 per cent, an improved baggage system is essential, the airport’s general manager commercial Simon Barr says.

“Our current facilities are designed to cope with passenger numbers of around 700,000 per year, while we are actually expecting to reach almost one million over the next 12 months.

“Of those numbers, the airport is designed to handle 5% international (international passengers have a greater impact on facilities) and 95% domestic but our actual passenger mix is closer to 20% international and 80% domestic,” Barr says.

The new facilities are scheduled to open December 7, just two days before Jetstar’s direct international flights from Aussie start jetting into the resort on December 9.