Tue, Oct 12, 2021 3:17 PM

Nelson Airport farewell 80-year-old hanger

Nelson Airport's 80 year old "Hangar 3" is set to become a modern rescue fire center. Photo: supplied.

Staff Reporter

Nelson Airport is set to demolish an 80-year-old hangar to make room for new and improved airport infrastructure.

Built by the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1941, Hangar 3 has largely sat idle for the last seven years taking up soon to be utilized space.

“While it’s sad to see the old building go, it had very much come to the end of its useable life,” says Nelson Airport chief executive Mark Thompson.

Mark says Hangar 3’s removal means Nelson Airport can provide new modern facilities critical to the future safety and efficient operations of the airfield.

"With limited space and growing demands on infrastructure, it is critical that we make the best use of what we have and continue with our plans to make Nelson Airport an asset the region can be really proud of.

Mark says the Hangar 3 site is earmarked for a modern Rescue Fire Centre, that will house the newly acquired Rosenbaur Panther fire truck, and future hangar developments.

Removal will commence on 21 October 2021 and will involve recovering as much of the material used in its construction as possible.

The hangar was most recently used for flying by Helicopters New Zealand from the 1960s until 2014 and its last significant activity was accommodating the construction of the large roof trusses used in the new airport terminal.

Asbestos in the cladding, soffits and vinyl will be safely removed before other demolition begins. Native timbers, including rimu, will be recycled for furniture production, the roofing iron will be reused and recycled while other metals will be salvaged for scrap.

“It is expected that construction on the planned new facilities will get underway next year, however, with the challenges brought on by the pandemic we are taking a realistically flexible approach to such timeframes,” says Mark.