Staff spillover at airport


Queenstown Airport is adding a temporary “pop-up” zone - including a tent and shipping container - to take an overflow of Air New Zealand staff.

A boost in Air NZ flights, including night flights, means it needs extra workers at the resort’s airport.

The national carrier has recently recruited 60 extra customer service and operational staff.

That includes front of house, ground and ramp staff.

Air NZ’s Anna Cross says: “These are permanent positions which means Air NZ now employs around 130 people in Queenstown.”

That’s too many to fit in its existing kitchen and locker areas - so it’s getting creative.

In a letter to the council, Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) facilities manager Mike Stacey says the airline’s existing kitchen and lunchroom will be expanded into an adjacent sign-in and storage area.

There are also plans for a “tent structure” outside the building and to install a fitted-out 40-foot shipping container for men’s lockers and change facilities.

With minor tweaks, the existing change room and locker area will become females-only.

That might sound a little down-rent but Cross says the pop-up zone will “provide a warm, comfortable and spacious area for staff to relax and take their breaks”.

Cross says: “We continue to work with the airport company to find a more permanent solution.”

Stacey, writing on July 6, says the tent and container are the most effective short-term fix.

He adds: “QAC has begun a long-term master planning process to develop longer-term plans to meet growth in and demand of its facilities, however this process is expected to take a minimum of 24 months before conceptual plans are developed.”

Council endorsed the request nine days later.