Queenstown Airport: Parking and traffic changes pave way for return of airport drop-off lanes

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29-Jun-2017 Locals looking to a say quick goodbye to loved ones, friends or work colleagues at Queenstown Airport will be able to ‘drop and go’ more quickly when drop-off lanes are re-introduced in front of the terminal on 1 July.

Previously used by coaches, the area has been expanded to two lanes and will be a free two-minute parking area for drop-offs only.  The airport’s operations team will assist with traffic flow and ensure the new area moves smoothly.

Queenstown Airport Chief Executive Colin Keel is delighted to bring back kerbside drop-offs as part of a $4.6 million parking and traffic improvement plan which has been completed over 18 months.

“We’ve worked hard to provide locals and visitors with a range of affordable parking options which include expanding public parking at the terminal, introducing a lower cost Park and Ride offering, and increasing staff carparking.  We have also addressed some pressure points associated with the significant increase in passenger numbers and community growth in recent years.

“Bringing back a quick, convenient way to drop off travellers without going into the main carpark was the number one piece of feedback we received from locals.  We originally moved drop-offs there because of safety concerns, but the improvements mean it can now be safely reinstated.”

The airport’s new 150-space Park and Ride facility opened on 22 June and is set to double capacity to 300 spaces in December. Together, the changes will increase the airport’s overall car parking capacity by 70 per cent in a 12-month period.

Traffic flow improvements include road widening and a new roundabout just inside the airport entrance.  Combined with purpose-built coach parks and commercial pickup/drop-off areas, the new layout provides a quick entry/exit for rental cars and commercial vehicles, reducing the overall number of vehicles on the inner ring road by 40 per cent. 

New parking technology will also help, with ‘Tap & Go’ being introduced in Terminal Car Parks A and B.  For customers keen to do away with tickets and queuing at a pay station, Tap and Go makes it easier and more convenient to pay by credit or debit card. 

“We’ve listened to feedback from residents and visitors and done our best to achieve a strong balance between options, affordability and convenience,” said Mr Keel. 

He thanked the community - particularly airport staff and transport providers, neighbouring residents and frequent travellers - for their patience and co-operation during an intensive six-month construction period. 

“We know that the roadworks have been visible and disruptive at times and sincerely thank everyone for their patience through the inconvenience this has caused.  We hope our efforts to expand parking options will provide more clarity, choice and convenience for our customers.”

More technology, products and infrastructure improvements are on the way over the next 12 to 24 months as part of the airport’s car parking and ground transport plan.  As a member of the transport governance group, the airport is also working closely with the Queenstown Lakes District Council, NZ Transport Agency and Otago Regional Council to address wider transport, parking and road infrastructure issues across the region.