A $5.87m of government funding for the re-development of the Taupō Airport has been welcomed by Taupo District mayor David Trewavas.
The grant was announced yesterday by regional development minister Shane Jones.
The funding – which comes from the Provincial Growth Fund ($5 million) and the New Zealand Upgrade Programme ($870,000) - will enable a new terminal to be built, a car park extension, and the expansion of the airside apron in order to operate larger aircraft safely.
“This investment is a huge step forward for us and one which is essential to this district’s growth and prosperity. I am so pleased the Government is backing the future of our airport and has the confidence in our district to invest here,” says David.
“We might be small, but we have big aspirations, and our airport – as a key gateway to the Central North Island and the Central Plateau – is a vital part of that. Importantly, this investment will complement other major investments central and local government has made here including the Sky Waka Gondola at Whakapapa.”
Stuff reported Shane as saying, “The airport's current infrastructure limits tourism and growth opportunities. Visitor numbers to the region are growing at a rate of 15 per cent a year.
“A modern and comfortable airport will grow these numbers, and the regional economy, even further,” he told a gathering of interested parties including Taupō District councillors and staff.
The project will modernise the terminal to be eco-friendly and safer, extend the car park and upgrade the runway apron.
In total, the airport upgrade is expected to cost $9.7m and will be funded in partnership with council and central government.
The project, expected to begin in March 2020, should be completed by October 2021.