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Invercargill Airport named Regional Airport of the Year


Invercargill Airport named Regional Airport of the Year

Invercargill Airport was announced as winner of the Regional Airport of the Year 201nvercargill Airport named Regional Airport of the Year6 award at the New Zealand Airports Conference, held in Nelson Thursday night.

The award recognises Invercargill Airport’s success in completing its $13 million redevelopment project, resulting in positive outcomes for the airport, its passengers and the wider community.

The project began in 2011 with a full commercial review, the objective being to deliver a financially sustainable operation for the long term as well as a functional, modern and safe building that represented Southland.  Construction was completed in early 2016, and the new terminal was officially opened by Prime Minister John Key in April this year.

Partnership with key stakeholders and a focus on long term regional, community and economic benefits were factors taken into consideration in the judging process.

“It is clear that Invercargill Airport have succeeded in their aim to create a terminal building which Southland can be proud of.  Since opening, it has lifted the spirits of those working at and passing through the airport, and presented a great first impression of the region,” said Beca Principal/Technical Director, Airports, Tristan Hughes, who presented the award.

In accepting the award, Invercargill Airport General Manager Nigel Finnerty described the project as “a story of innovative thinking, engagement and most of all collaboration.”

“It’s transformed the airport from a dated 1960s building to a modern, functional and practical gateway for Southland.  But to make it happen it’s been a massive effort from everyone involved.

“From the idea generators, the designers who took the idea and gave it form and the contractors who built it to the people of Invercargill and Southland who engaged and supported the project, the users of the airport and those who work or run businesses on the site – all had to work hard to make it into what it is today,” Mr Finnerty said.

A focus on collaboration with key stakeholders – shareholders, major customer and the city and region – was evident throughout the project, which began with a public survey to assess community needs prior to commencing the terminal design.

Invercargill City Mayor Tim Shadbolt said it was this level of engagement with all stakeholders and the owner, Invercargill City Council, that paved the way for unanimous approval for this project to proceed and the ultimate success of the project.

“I can say with authority that the airport development project has received nothing but positive feedback from the community,” he said.

As one of Invercargill Airport’s key customers, Air New Zealand was also involved intimately throughout the process to ensure airline schedules and the experience for the travelling public could be enhanced.

Air New Zealand Regional Affairs Manager Ian Collier praised Invercargill Airport for taking a partnership approach to the project, resulting in an outcome that has proved to be both practical and enduring for the region.

“The forward thinking design, simplicity and functionality of the terminal has been of great benefit to visitors and locals alike,” Mr Collier said.

“The region has good reason to be incredibly proud of this impressive gateway to Southland,” he added.

Invercargill Airport Chairman of the Board of Directors, Joe O’Connell said it was an honour to receive recognition for the successful redevelopment, and that this success was a reflection of the hard work and dedication of everyone involved.

“The Invercargill Airport team, the board, our team of contractors, Invercargill City Holdings Limited, the Invercargill City Council, Air New Zealand, airport users and our local community – we can all stand proud knowing we have created a fantastic facility that provides a great first impression for our visitors and appropriately reflects the modern, vibrant region that Southland is,” he said.

Invercargill airport was also highly commended for the Project of the Year 2016 award category, which was won by Queenstown Airport.

For more information, please contact Invercargill Airport Chairman of the Board of Directors, Joe O’Connell, phone 027 277 9201 or email

Civil Aviation Authority – Drone Rules

The Civil Aviation Authority has launched new rules regarding the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The conditions will mean stricter control of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles at New Zealand’s aerodromes from 1 August 2015.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles can not operate:

  • Within 4 km of any aerodrome unless specific conditions are met
  • In airspace designated special use, or with any airspace restrictions
  • In a way that causes a hazard for people or property
  • Over runways or any other ‘active’ part of the aerodrome including other aircraft
  • Outside of daylight hours (after sunset and before sunrise) except if indoors or within 100 m of and below the top of a natural or man-made object
  • Above any area where the ground visibility is less than 3 km or if the cloud base is low and can not be operated in line of sight of the operator

This is not a complete list and we strongly recommend that you read the information on the Airshare website

Customer Satisfaction Survey 2016

Invercargill Airport conducted a survey in 2014 before the redevelopment, and now we are wanting to compare results to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers to the best that we can.

The survey is based on all public areas of the terminal, car park and café. We want our visitors to enjoy their experience in our new building and we appreciate all feedback.

Please click on the link below to complete a short Customer Satisfaction Survey.


8 May 2016 Air New Zealand Dreamliner

More than 50 kids and their caregivers were taken on a unique scenic tour of New Zealand on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner Jet.

The Jet left Auckland and headed down south over Mount Cook and the Southern Alps, flying low over Invercargill and Dunedin.

Koru care is a charitable trust which gives sick and disabled children memorable exerpiences.

04 March 2016 Invercargill Airport appoints new General Manager

Invercargill Airport Limited Chairman Mr Joe O’Connell is pleased to announce the appointment of its new General Manager, Mr Nigel Finnerty.  Nigel comes to us after 15 years in various senior management roles with New Zealand’s Aluminium Smelter (NZAS).  We are very are pleased to have Nigel on board and his expertise in the management of large infrastructural assets will be a great asset to the company.

“Being a born and bred Southlander, originally from Bluff, I am proud to be involved in the development of one of Southland’s most important infrastructural assets” says Mr Finnerty.

“The Invercargill Airport is a gateway to the region and provides the first touch point for visitors. It is empirical that their first impression is not only a well-run, stunning facility, but they can experience that great southern hospitality right from when they walk off the plane” said Mr Finnerty.

Mr Finnerty takes on this role after successfully spending over 30 years in leadership and management positions across a range of areas.

Mr Finnerty served in the Royal New Zealand Navy from 1981 to 2001 where he completed several peace keeping and Maritime support operations throughout the Persian Gulf and Indian Oceans and was awarded two New Zealand General Services Medals and a New Zealand Operational Services Medal. Upon retirement from the Navy, Mr Finnerty briefly worked as a volunteer for the Department of Conservation on the West Coast.

He returned to Southland in late 2001 and now calls Invercargill home where he resides on a lifestyle block with his wife and two children.

Mr Finnerty joined NZAS in 2001 and during his 15 year tenure gained a wealth of skills progressing through various operational and management roles, most recently holding the role of Asset Manager.

“While I am very sad to see Nigel go, I am also very proud to see him join the ranks of the other Southland business leaders whose skills and commitment to success were developed at NZAS.  I look forward to continue working with him in the wider context of Southland’s regional development,” said New Zealand Aluminium Smelters Chief Executive and GM, Gretta Stephens.

Chairman Joe O’Connell says it is the perfect time for Nigel to take on the position of General Manager as the terminal upgrade draws to a close and we look forward to the exciting future Invercargill Airport has ahead.

“Nigel is starting with the company at a time where we are receiving a lot of positive feedback resulting from the terminal redevelopment with the travelling public commenting on a daily basis how they are enjoying the modern, vibrant and exciting terminal that appropriately reflects the region that Southland is.” Mr O’Connell says.

Alongside his full-time positions at NZAS, Mr Finnerty continued his Navy commitment on a volunteer basis and was appointed Honorary Naval Officer for Southland in 2003 where he served for 10 years. He was then commissioned into the Royal New Zealand Naval Reserve as a Lieutenant Commander and was appointed the Regional Naval Officer for Southland where he remains today and represents the Chief of Navy in Southland, organises Naval ship visits to the region and supports naval activities in the community.

As a keen mountain runner, biker and climber Mr Finnerty has climbed various mountains throughout the Himalayas, summiting the 8,000 metre peak, Shishapangma, in Tibet.  He has also completed   nine Kepler Challenges and the Everest Marathon.

Nigel Finnerty will commence his role as the General Manager of Invercargill Airport in the middle of April.

For more information please contact Invercargill Airport Board Chairman, Joe O’Connell,
027 227 9201,