Construction is advanced on a new helicopter terminal and hangar at Auckland Airport. The new facility will be built, owned and managed by local helicopter tour operator Helicopter Me, and will cater for the airport’s growing number of affluent and adventure-seeking passengers.
Anil Varma, Auckland Airport’s acting general manager – aeronautical operations, says the helicopter terminal is a timely addition to the services provided by Auckland Airport for its customers.
“Our international passenger numbers continue to rise, up 8 per cent in the last financial year to just under 9 million. This has led to an increase in the number of high-spending tourists wanting to connect quickly to their luxury holiday destinations.”
“The new helicopter terminal will also provide international and New Zealand tourists with greater choice when it comes to heading out for a scenic flight, lunch or a wine tour while visiting Auckland.”
Situated just 200 metres from the international terminal, the heliport is believed to be one of the closest such operations to an international airport anywhere in the world. Helicopter Me’s Richard Poppelwell says the quality and accessibility of the heliport will have immediate benefits for the New Zealand tourism industry.
“The enhanced helicopter service will provide a seamless travel service, essentially enabling international travellers to fly directly from their port of origin to their end destination, be it a lodge, golf course, island or even the city centre just 8 minutes away. Equally importantly, customers can be picked up from the front lawn of their accommodation in, say, the Bay of Islands and be landing beside the international terminal within an hour, thereby saving themselves half a day in travel.”
The new hangar will also allow helicopters to be based at Auckland Airport for the first time, rather than being specifically flown in for every booking.
“Having helicopters on site will significantly reduce the cost for passengers and therefore open up the opportunity to add a touch of luxury to a broader audience,” says Mr Poppelwell.
Auckland Airport’s new helicopter terminal and hangar are scheduled to open in November this year.