Christchurch International Airport

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Christchurch International Airport
Christchurch Airport logo 2013.jpg
CHC airport.jpg
Aerial view of the airport
IATA: CHCICAO: NZCH
CHC is located in New Zealand Christchurch
CHC
CHC
Location of the airport in Christchurch
Summary
Airport type Public
Owner Christchurch City Council (75%)
NZ Government (25%)[1]
Operator Christchurch International Airport Limited
Serves Christchurch
Location Harewood, Christchurch
Hub for Air New Zealand
Elevation AMSL 37 m / 123 ft
Coordinates 43°29′22″S 172°31′56″E / 43.48944°S 172.53222°E / -43.48944; 172.53222Coordinates: 43°29′22″S 172°31′56″E / 43.48944°S 172.53222°E / -43.48944; 172.53222
Website www.christchurchairport.co.nz
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 3,288 10,785 Asphalt - Primary
11/29 1,741 5,712 Asphalt - Secondary
02/20 515 1,690 Grass - Aeroclub
Helipads
Number Length Surface
m ft
12 39
Statistics (2013)
Passengers 5,560,967[2]
Movements 121,112

Christchurch International Airport (IATA: CHCICAO: NZCH) is the main airport that serves Christchurch, New Zealand. It is located 12 kilometres to the northwest of the city centre, in the suburb of Harewood. Christchurch (Harewood) Airport officially opened on 18 May 1940[3] and became New Zealand's first international airport on 16 December 1950.[4] It is the second busiest airport in New Zealand after Auckland by both annual passengers and aircraft movements. Christchurch is one of only two New Zealand airports (the other being Auckland) capable of handling Boeing 777 and Boeing 747 aircraft in regular service.

The prevailing wind in Christchurch is from the north-east and to a lesser extent from the south-west, but the city is also affected by Canterbury's Nor'wester foehn wind. As a result, the airport has two perpendicular runways: a 3300 m primary runway (02/20) orientated with the north-easterly and south-westerly prevailing winds, and a 1750 m secondary runway (11/29) orientated for use during Nor'westers. The airport also has a third grass runway, parallel to the primary runway, for use by general aviation.

Due to increasing passenger numbers, the airport has completed construction on a new Domestic terminal upgrade costing $237 million. The new construction's primary wing opened in 2011 and was scheduled for full completion in late 2012, with some work such as demolition and apron works finished in early 2013.

In May 2013 the airport began kicking out travellers who tried to sleep at the airport overnight,[5][6] saying they should find proper accommodation, but backed down after neighbours complained people were sleeping rough outdoors.[7]
The airport has direct flights to 18 domestic and 11 international destinations.

Former terminal building and control tower designed by Paul Pascoe
A couple of Mount Cook ATRs at the terminal
A departing Air New Zealand 747-400 in 2010
Air New Zealand BAE146 at Christchurch in 2005
View of Christchurch Airport's new Domestic terminal under construction
Former Nationwide Air Carvair at Christchurch in 1977
Passengers being met by friends on the tarmac off a Qantas 747-200 in 1978
View from the roof deck
Uzbekistan Airways 767 on a regular charter with fishing crews at Christchurch in 2014
Christchurch airport tower at night
Christchurch Airport check in hall
Aerial view of the Christchurch Airport Terminal

History[edit]

Development of the aerodrome at Harewood commenced in 1936. By 1946 the form of the terminal area development was established with hangars, a small terminal building, the water tower and some barracks buildings. The two runways and parallel taxiway concept was established in the early 1950s and in 1960 a new terminal building, designed by Paul Pascoe,[8] was in operation. Since that time, additions to the buildings, development of parking and access and extensions to the runway/ taxiway/ apron system have been almost continuous.[9]

  • 1935 Decision was made by the council to locate new airport at Harewood as the best site for Christchurch.
  • 1937 A 915-metre runway and a 60 square metre terminal constructed
  • 1940 The airport became RNZAF Station Harewood.
  • 1950 Christchurch Airport received clearance for international operations by the Government.
  • 1960 A new domestic terminal opens designed by local architect Paul Pascoe.
  • 1962 The main runway was extended to 2,442 metres providing for commercial jet operations.
  • 1966 An international wing was added to the Domestic Terminal.
  • 1972 The north-west runway was completely resealed, repainted and extended to 1,741 metres.
  • 1975 Extensions to the domestic terminal were completed a new pier added, extending the total floor space to 16,000 square metres
  • 1984 Main runway extended by 845 metres to 3,287 metres.
  • 1987 Terminal extended to accommodate Ansett New Zealand and Air New Zealand lounges and domestic airbridges
  • 1998 New international terminal building completed creating an additional 28,000 square metres of new floor space
  • 2004 Expansion of the international terminal to create five more international stands and four more international airbridges
  • 2009 Work starts on replacing old domestic terminal with a new building to be built over the existing one.
  • 2013 The new domestic terminal is completed and officially opened by the Prime Minister.

Airport redevelopment[edit]

Christchurch Airport recently underwent an extensive expansion project. This began in 2006 when construction commenced on a new multi-storey car park building which opened early 2007. The new building provides 570 new covered car parks. Once it was complete, part of the existing car park area was closed to allow for the extra space required for the expanded footprint of the new terminal building. A new 45m tall control tower, positioned close to the new car park building, opened in September 2009.

In early 2009 work on the new terminal commenced. The new terminal replaces the existing aging domestic terminal and expand the facilities of the much newer international terminal. The new building includes:

  • a combined check-in area servicing both domestic and international passengers,
  • a large landside retail and food precinct,
  • new domestic departure and arrival lounges with enhanced retail facilities,
  • new domestic and expanded international baggage claim areas inclusive of a separate Regional/Small Aircraft Baggage claim,
  • new international customs arrivals area, inclusive of a natural experience of New Zealand[10]
  • three swing-style boarding gates accessible from both the domestic and international departure areas so aircraft do not need to change gates,
  • a new taxiing lane incorporated into the domestic aircraft parking apron to allow for more efficient aircraft movements,
  • new coach and drop off facilities that eliminate the terminal frontage road in accordance with new international ICAO guidelines.

Stage 1 of the new terminal, including the new check-in hall, new food/retail precinct, new single domestic security screening, and the new regional departure lounge and baggage claim of the new terminal was completed in May 2011, allowing the old international check-in and the old domestic terminal north of the main pier to be demolished to make way for Stage 2.[11] Stage 2, which includes the new domestic baggage claim and the northern half of the new domestic departure lounge was completed in February 2012.

The old domestic terminal has been completely demolished to make way for the new terminal. All construction was completed by late 2012, with some work such as demolition of the old pier continuing into 2013. Between 200 and 400 workers were active on the site each work day for almost four years. The new terminal was officially opened by the Prime Minister, the RT Hon John Key on 18 April 2013. The amount of steel in the building is equivalent to the weight of seven Boeing 747s. The amount of concrete used would fill 3.5 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The quantity of tiles inside the terminal would cover two rugby fields and the carpet would cover one rugby field. Enough paint has been used to draw a line from Christchurch to Invercargill. Despite 11,000 earthquakes the terminal project was completed on the budget set in 2009. The new terminal is receiving positive feedback for visitors already[12]

Runway improvements[edit]

Runway 11/29 will be widened and extended 244m west into the nearby golf course and a RESA will be added to each end to make it comply with ICAO standards. Eventually all the runways will have a RESA. Also Runway 11/29 may be lengthened up to 2,000m to provide for enhanced take-off capability for Code D (e.g. B767) and Code E (e.g.B777, B787, A350) aircraft flying on medium and long haul routes in northwest wind operational conditions. When completed with peak operation periods both runways will be used simultaneously known as SIMOPS.[13]

Terminal and Gates[edit]

Christchurch Airport consists of a single terminal which caters for both domestic and international flights. It is situated at the intersection of the two sealed runways. The main terminal building contains a combined check-in hall for both domestic and international flights. It has 58 check-in counters, in addition to self-service check-in kiosks. A common baggage claim hall is also located on the ground floor.[14] There is a large retail area on the first floor, with many food and retail outlets as well as waiting areas. A major feature of the terminal is a $15 million state-of-the-art baggage handling system, which is 750 metres long.[15] The airport has 33 gates in total. The regional wing is located in the south-west of the terminal, and handles all Air New Zealand Link turboprop flights. It has 12 gates, numbered 3-14. The central zone handles mainline Air New Zealand and Jetstar domestic services and has eight gates (15-22) all (except 15 (which can be shared with turboprops)) are equipped with jetbridges. The international wing is located in the north-east section of the terminal and has 12 gates (24-35), all except 31 and 33 have jetbridges. Gates 21/24 and 22/25 are shared swing gates which can be used for domestic or international flights as the need arises.

The size of the new integrated terminal at Christchurch Airport is 77,591m².

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Passenger[edit]

Airlines Destinations Type
Air Chathams Chatham Islands Domestic
Air New Zealand Auckland, Dunedin, Queenstown, Wellington Domestic
Air New Zealand Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Nadi, Sydney
Seasonal: Perth,[16] Rarotonga
Charter: Nagoya-Centrair, Naha, Osaka-Kansai,[17] Port Vila[18]
International
Air New Zealand Link
operated by Air Nelson
Dunedin, Hamilton, Hokitika, Invercargill, Kapiti Coast, Napier, Nelson, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Tauranga, Wellington Domestic
Air New Zealand Link
operated by Eagle Airways
Blenheim, Hokitika, Nelson Domestic
Air New Zealand Link
operated by Mount Cook Airline
Dunedin, Hamilton, Invercargill, Napier (begins 9 February 2015), Nelson, Palmerston North, Queenstown, Rotorua, Tauranga (begins 14 February 2015), Wellington Domestic
China Airlines Seasonal: Sydney (begins 2 December 2014),[19] Taipei-Taoyuan (begins 2 December 2014) [20] International
Emirates Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Dubai, Sydney International
Fiji Airways Nadi International
Jetstar Airways Auckland, Wellington Domestic
Jetstar Airways Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney International
Qantas
operated by Jetconnect
Sydney International
Singapore Airlines Singapore International
Virgin Australia Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney International

China Southern Airlines has stated it intends to start a Guangzhou to Christchurch service in the future.[21]

Cargo[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air Freight NZ Auckland, Palmerston North
Air Post Auckland, Palmerston North, Dunedin
Qantas Freight Sydney

Facts & figures[edit]

As the gateway for Christchurch and the South Island, Christchurch International Airport is New Zealand’s second largest airport.

5,592,529 passengers travelled in and out of Christchurch International Airport from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011.[22] This represented a decrease by approximately 405,000 (-6.7%) over the same period ending 31 December 2010, as a result of the 2010-2011 Christchurch Earthquakes.

Traffic[edit]

Busiest Australian routes out of Christchurch Airport (Financial year 2012-13)[23]
Rank Airport Passengers  % Change Carriers
1  Australia, Sydney 447,801 Increase2.6 Air New Zealand, Emirates, Jetstar, Qantas, Virgin Australia
2  Australia, Melbourne 256,997 Increase 0.5 Air New Zealand, Jetstar, Virgin Australia
3  Australia, Brisbane 221,555 Decrease 18.8 Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia
4  Australia, Gold Coast 69,513 Increase14.9 Air New Zealand, Jetstar
5  Australia, Perth 9,273 Increase 0 Air New Zealand
Busiest Domestic routes in and out of Christchurch Airport (2012)[24]
Rank Airport Passengers  % Change Carriers
1  New Zealand, Auckland 1,134,558 Increase 0.1 Air New Zealand, Jetstar
2  New Zealand, Wellington 789,796 Increase 0.3 Air New Zealand, Jetstar
3  New Zealand, Dunedin 378,567 Increase 0.1 Air New Zealand
4  New Zealand, Queenstown 243,368 Increase 0.1 Air New Zealand

Operations[edit]

Military[edit]

USAF C-17 Globemaster III on the tarmac at Christchurch Airport

Since the closure of Wigram Air Force Base, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) always flies to Christchurch International Airport when required to visit the city. There are regular RNZAF flights between the main centres of New Zealand. Prior to the withdrawal of the air combat wing, the RNZAF fighter aircraft were also seen at the airport.

With the development of Antarctic scientific expeditions, since the 1950s Christchurch Airport has been the base for all Antarctic flights operated by the United States Navy, United States Air Force, Air National Guard and Royal New Zealand Air Force as part of Operation Deep Freeze. During the Antarctic flying season (which generally operates from August to February), C-17 Globemaster III, C-130 Hercules, LC-130 Hercules and L-100 Hercules aircraft are often seen on the Antarctic Apron north of the main passenger terminals. C-5 Galaxy aircraft also make the occasional appearance.

Christchurch airport will be the winter base for the next 20 years for the NASA's SOFIA Space telescope which is fitted inside a 1977 Boeing 747SP (N747NA). The city has been chosen as a southern hemisphere base because of its often cloud-free night skies and lack of atmospheric haze, it has a fairly long airport runway and the relatively empty airspace around the South Island will benefit the research undertaken.[25]

General aviation[edit]

There are several general aviation organisations operating from the airport. Garden City Helicopters operates from a base adjacent to the airport (ICAO: NZGI). It operates a medivac service using fixed-wing aircraft (NZ Flying Doctor Service) and also operates the rescue helicopter in Canterbury with a secondary helipad in Hagley Park adjacent to Christchurch Hospital (ICAO: NZJC). Christchurch Helicopters also operates from the western side of the airfield, next to the Canterbury Aero Club. Christchurch International Airport Limited maintains a grass runway parallel to the primary runway. Both Airwork and Vincent Aviation operate regular charter flights from Christchurch to all parts of New Zealand and Australia. Mainland Air operates flights to Oamaru.[26] Southern DC3 Ltd operates scenic DC3 flights over Bank's Peninsula from Christchurch airport. Ridge Air runs several charters per week to Blenheim using its Cessna 402C aircraft.
An unusual but regular visitor to Christchurch is Uzbekistan Airways Boeing 767 charters from Tashkent bringing in Russian fishing crews which occurs every six months.

Access, ground transport, and parking[edit]

A drop off and pick up lane is available on the ground floor of the multi-level carpark building. There are also free parking periods in the short term carpark (30 minutes) and the ground floor of the multi-level carpark building (15 minutes) that may be used for picking up and dropping off passengers.

There is also the option of off-airport car parking facilities such as Christchurch Park & Fly offering a low cost alternative to parking at the airport carparks.

A number of different taxi and shuttle companies operate services from the airport terminals.

Three different city bus routes service the airport. Two routes serve the main terminal: the number 3 route to the central city via Avonhead and Riccarton, continuing to Sumner; and the number 29 route to the central city via Fendalton. The Comet bus route services the airport at Orchard Road, a short walk from the terminal, on its route between Papanui and Hornby.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Christchurch International Airport Limited Shareholdings". New Zealand Companies office. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.christchurchairport.co.nz/media/609856/2013-11_monthly_number.pdf
  3. ^ "Christchurch Chronology". Christchurch City Library. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  4. ^ "Christchurch Chronology". Christchurch City Library. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  5. ^ "No more sleeping in Chch Airport". 3 News NZ. 19 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Christchurch Airport kicks out freeloading tourists". New Zealand Herald. 18 May 2013. 
  7. ^ "Chch airport relaxes sleeping ban". 3 News NZ. 20 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Robertson, Ana. "Pascoe, Arnold Paul - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  9. ^ http://www.christchurchairport.co.nz/en/about-us/corporate-information/airport-history/
  10. ^ "Christchurch Airport’s International Arrivals Experience". Future Travel Experience. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  11. ^ "Terminal Development Plans & Progress". Christchurch International Airport Limited. May 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Christchurch airport opens new terminal building". 18 April 2013. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Amendment of Runway Plan Change". Christchurch City Council. 17 November 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  14. ^ http://www.ausbt.com.au/christchurch-airport-opens-new-terminal-with-more-services
  15. ^ http://hawkinsconstruction.co.nz/cial-redevelopment/
  16. ^ http://www.ausbt.com.au/virgin-australia-air-new-zealand-launch-direct-perth-christchurch-flights
  17. ^ http://www.theflyingsocialnetwork.com/archives/24741
  18. ^ http://www.thenzsource.com/tag/port-vila/
  19. ^ http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/10375323/China-Airlines-boosts-Chch-flights
  20. ^ http://www.routesonline.com/news/38/airlineroute/243105/china-airlines-adds-seasonal-christchurch-link-from-dec-2014/
  21. ^ http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2013-04/10/content_16387949.htm
  22. ^ "Facts and Figures". Christchurch Airport. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  23. ^ International Airline Activity—Annual Publications
  24. ^ International Airline Activity—Annual Publications
  25. ^ http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/8917257/Space-telescope-touches-down
  26. ^ http://www.mainlandair.com/oamaru.php

External links[edit]