Queenstown firms up plan for corporate jet terminal

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Queenstown Airport is gearing up to give corporate jet passengers their own terminal from early next year.

The airport corporation has inked a deal with Auckland-based corporate jet handling company Air Centre One and Capital Jet Services of Wellington to lease land next to the main terminal building to develop a Fixed-Based Operation (FBO) for corporate jet passengers.

A new mini-terminal – to be known as Queenstown Corporate Jet Services – is to be built on land between the International Arrivals hall and Hertz building.

The lease kicks in this January and the terminal is expected to be operational by March, a statement out today says.

At the start of this year, airport boss Scott Paterson admitted to Mountain Scene he almost had to put up a ‘No vacancy’ sign to some corporate jets at Christmas and New Year as booking came close to exceeding parking space.

The overload didn’t eventuate as one of the jet operators changed schedule, but he said at the time the expansion of parking for private planes was a priority: “Any constraint at this airport is a concern if it turns people off because it’s very discretionary, people coming to this place.”

Today’s statement says Air Center One and Capital Jet Services have a long history of mutual co-operation in the New Zealand corporate jet-handling business and will build, finance and manage the facility as a joint venture.

Air Center One chief executive Rob Leach, a pioneer of New Zealand’s corporate jet FBO services, says key drivers for the development are to meet continuing growth of corporate jet movements to Queenstown and provide an enhanced customer experience.

“The new FBO will enable us to raise the bar for corporate jet operators in Queenstown by providing similar facilities to Auckland and Wellington airports as well as the discreet, professional, high-end service they value.”

Paterson says it’ll be a long awaited improvement to local corporate jet facilities and a big step forward in positioning the airport as a key NZ gateway for premium visitors.

“The owners and operators of these aircraft are making a valued economic contribution to the airport and the local economy and it’s important for us to ensure we’re delivering the best possible customer experience.

“It’ll provide a dedicated space for our passengers to be welcomed, hosted and processed, creating a better first impression of Queenstown and a seamless transition from air to land.”