New Invercargill Airport terminal opens for business

The new Invercargill Airport terminal building has opened for business, with passengers using it for the first time on Sunday.

Airport general manager Chloe Scala said passengers first used the new building for the 7am flight out of the city.

"It went well." 

The one-level building was a simple design but it was modern, had more space for passengers and more light, she said.

Keeping the airport running while transitioning between the old and new buildings had posed its challenges and the public's help had been appreciated, Scala said.

The polished concrete floors were a feature of the new terminal building, while the "very automated" toilet facilities got the nod from Australian traveller Leo De Guzman.

"And the floor is nice and clean, shiny, and there's more space [than the former terminal building]," he said.

Invercargill woman Ora Barron was also complimentary, saying the terminal building was stunning.

"It's a long time overdue. I love the spaciousness ... and the brightness."

A feature of the terminal building will be images of Southland's attractions plastered over walls, with more still to be done.

The terminal has areas for check ins, arrivals, departures, cafe, seating areas, and some offices.

There is a temporary Koru Lounge and baggage claim area at the new terminal while stage two of the $13 million project gets underway.

The second stage of the project will include demolishing the old terminal building and adding onto the new building where the new baggage reclaim, permanent Koru Lounge, staff offices and meeting rooms will be installed.

The second stage is expected to be completed before Christmas.

The new terminal is 2970 square metres as opposed to the former terminal which was 2450 square metres, Scala said.

"It's not a lot bigger, it's just a better use of space."

The building had been designed so it can be expanded on in the future if necessary.