07 September 2011

Paraparaumu "Beach" Terminal

The first thing passengers flying in to Kapiti on the new Air New Zealand flight service will see when they disembark is an old wooden sign stating "sorry, gone fishing". A quirky new Kapiti Coast Airport terminal featuring a coastal beach theme will greet passengers when the flight service between Paraparaumu and Auckland takes off over Labour weekend. Man-made sand dunes planted with native flaxes are included in the grounds surrounding the $1 million terminal and the beach theme continues inside with straw umbrellas, outdoor barbecue-type furniture and a realistic looking boardwalk, actually made of carpet. Airport owner Sir Noel Robinson said he wanted to create the beachy, relaxed atmosphere of the Kapiti Coast. "We wanted people to walk in and end up with a smile on their face. It does not look like an ordinary terminal - it is a Clayton's terminal. It is like you have come to the beach with deck chairs with soft canvas seating." Historic photographs on one wall recall the days last century when the National Airways Corporation flew to Paraparaumu, including one of Queen Elizabeth II stepping onto the tarmac. The toilets - designed by Dave Smithson of Home Creators and interior designer Heather Thorley - resemble old beachside loos. A cafe named "iland" will probably open a couple of days before the flights commence, Sir Noel said. Check-in counters have been installed for Air New Zealand and local flight service air-2-there. A seven-metre-long photo of Kapiti Island is featured on one one wall and old wooden aeroplane propellers enhance the historic aviation theme accompanying the beachside ambience. Named Terminal 1, it is located on the north-west side of the airfield with access from Toru Rd. A larger terminal was planned at a later date. The new flight service, using 50-seater turbo props, will take off on October 25.

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