The development of the Invercargill Airport has received a significant boost with today’s announcement of investment from the Provincial Growth Fund.
In his announcement today, Economic Development Minister, the Honourable Shane Jones confirmed $500,000 to be allocated towards the $2million upgrade of Invercargill Airport, which is already underway.
Invercargill Airport General Manager Nigel Finnerty said the funding injection was a huge boost for the development of Invercargill Airport.
“This is a wonderful vote of confidence in the future of this airport and in the region’s growing economy,” he said.
The upgrade for the airport is expected to be completed by August 18, and Mr Finnerty credited the support of the airport’s shareholders and community partners in making the project happen.
“We are all delighted by the success of our application to the Provincial Growth Fund and are incredibly excited to partner with Central Government to complete the redevelopment of the airport,” he said.
The Provincial Growth Fund investment will support Invercargill Airport to upgrade the infrastructure essential to support jet services.
This will include putting in security screening lanes, x-ray machines, secure lounges, baggage screening areas, and bigger parking hardstands for the jets.
The upgrade to Invercargill Airport has supported Air New Zealand’s decision to trial a direct flight between Auckland and Invercargill.
The first direct flight from Auckland is set to land on August 25. Mr Finnerty said there was a high level of excitement around the redevelopment and arrival of the jet.
“It’s a big job in a short amount of time, but the benefits and overall outcomes are going to be incredibly exciting for this airport, Invercargill and the wider Southland community.”
Mr Finnerty said that the airport development, and new schedule of flights will all play a part in increasing the connectivity to and from Southland.
“Exporters will have increased access to our biggest market, tourists can start their New Zealand adventures at our place, we can just “whip” up to Auckland to see friends or go to a concert and it will be so much easier to do business with our biggest city,” he said.
The Provincial Growth Fund has been designed to accelerate regional development, increase regional productivity and increase employment opportunities.
Mr Finnerty said he was confident that the airport development, and this flight will do all of this.
“There are numerous economic and social opportunities that could come from this new flight service for the entire region, just one example being the increased employment at this airport.”
Mr Finnerty said it was likely that a minimum of seven new full-time roles and 18 part-time jobs would be created. This is over and above the design and building jobs needed during the construction phase of the project.
Invercargill Airport at a glance:
- Invercargill Airport will be the first regional airport in New Zealand to have regular passenger jet service operations
- Invercargill Airport is New Zealand’s southernmost airport and the gateway to Invercargill and Southland
- With a runway length of 2210 metres, the airport can land all narrow body domestic jets and turbo prop aircraft
- 321,000 passengers have passed through the terminal over the past 12 months, an increase of 4.6% over the previous year
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