Dunedin airport now reaps benefit from project

Dunedin International Airport chief executive Richard Roberts in the new Dunedin airport terminal. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Dunedin International Airport chief executive Richard Roberts in the new Dunedin airport terminal. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
The Dunedin International Airport increased its terminal rentals by almost a third at the halfway stage of the year, as the benefits of its terminal investment project started to generate returns.

The airport, which is jointly owned by Dunedin City Holdings and the Crown, reported total revenues up 4% to $9.1million for the six months to December 2019, with an operating surplus of $2.1million.

Land-based, or non-aeronautical income, accounted for 54% of the total, an increase of 5.6% on the previous year.

A 32.7%, or $304,000 increase in terminal rentals came from the opening of a new, temporary Relay news and book store, increased revenue from rental car companies and a $45,150 increase in car park revenue. However, dairy farm revenue was down by $107,500, in line with a change to the company’s accounting for dairy farm retro payment revenue.

Passenger numbers were down 1.2% on the previous year as a result of the cancellation of the Jetstar Wellington service, though increased landing charge revenue per passenger pushed revenues up nominally to $4.1million.

Airport chief executive Richard Roberts said the increased landing charges reflected a change in airline mix, as jet and ATR services attracted different landing charges.

He also warned that the airport was expecting to see some effect from declining passenger numbers in the coming months as a result of Covid-19.

‘‘We will be focusing on the domestic and Tasman markets and working with Enterprise Dunedin, Tourism NZ and the airlines to promote the city and the region.’’

He said the airport was still forecasting more than one million passengers this year.

The cancellation of the Jetstar Wellington service had reduced passenger numbers by 26% to 65,126 for the period. Air New Zealand increased numbers by 3.4% to 441,414 and Virgin by 11.5% to 24,663.

Overall international passenger numbers increased by 11% to 24,663.

Mr Roberts said the new terminal expansion project would open officially in two weeks and the budget was tracking at $14million.


I’m curious why Dunedin Airport even has a CEO for the airport? In most countries, given the size and capacity of the airport, it barely ranks as a regional airport worth hiring a part time airport manager letalone a CEO raking in in excess of $200K. The CEO has turned the terminal area into a massive parking lot with a runway. Airport services are limited and abysmal. Like much of the Dunedin City holdings business models, the airport is dull, dated and out of touch with the wants and needs of the community. Its time for some change. Bring experts in with new ideas on how to promote Dunedin. Since Roberts started focusing on promoting the city and the region the number of international flights has pretty much ended. Yes, the revenue has increased but so have the cost of all the things the airport uses to measure its success. That aside, the airport has a captive audience as the sole airport in Dunedin. As the population of Dunedin grows, the of passengers and airport revenue are going to increase automatically not because of anything the airport has done or Roberts leadership. I wish Roberts did as good of a job promoting Dunedin and the region as he does of promoting himself!

The ODT publishes a lot of stories promoting the airport. The airport has a lot of people working out there. How come every story always has a picture of Richard Roberts? I realize Roberts is the CEO but it’s the people working with the public who are the real face of the airport not Roberts. It would be nice to see the smiling face of other people working out there for a change instead of Roberts.

Roberts, who is this person?, I have never seen him before, the other hard working staff yes but not this person.