Invercargill Airport Ltd hosted members for an off-site visit in November. 
Caption: Invercargill Airport Ltd chief executive Nigel Finnerty and commercial and business development manager Julie Jack at the far end of the table (standing) welcomed members in November. 
Invercargill Airport Ltd hosted members in November and provided lunch and an overview of the airport's assets, business structure and plans for the future.
Members had lunch in the Jet Lounge before IAL chief executive Nigel Finnerty and business development manager Julie Jack gave their presentation. The visit concluded with a tour of the airport. 
To get an understanding of what IAL has been dealing with snippets have been taken from chairman Grant Lilly and Finnerty's report outlined in IAL's annual report for 2021. The document has been uploaded if members want to read it in full.
It has been a very busy and challenging year for the Airport. The priorities for the year were shaped by COVID 19 and focused on firstly stabilising the business during periods of lockdown constraints, and then adapting to a developing growth environment. We are able to report that whilst COVID 19 certainly impacted our business severely at the start of the year, we bounced back very well as confidence in domestic travel returned, and New Zealanders “found” Southland. Since balance date, the Delta COVID variant has surfaced in New Zealand and on 17 August 2021 New Zealand went into a countrywide lockdown. Whilst much of New Zealand moved down the alert levels, and reopened substantially on 7 September, Auckland and some parts of the North Island have continued in lockdown for an extended period. This has negatively impacted the numbers of people traveling, and the Auckland/Invercargill nonstop jet is still suspended at the time of writing. New Zealand is currently transitioning from a COVID elimination strategy to understanding how to live with COVID in our community.
Direct Jet Service
The year saw passenger and aircraft movements start slowly, but then ramp up very quickly as we headed towards the Christmas period. The Invercargill to Auckland direct jet service came back earlier than expected and showed strong demand, growing quickly to four days a week in its new midday time slot. The strength of the flight was confirmed when it was scheduled to remain in place right through the Christmas holiday season, which is traditionally our quietest period. The Christchurch and Wellington flights also came back quickly and by the end of the year flight frequency and capacity levels were above pre COVID levels.
It has become apparent that with volume growth, and the enhanced customer handling requirements driven by Covid and security, we will have to further develop our terminal and related facilities, such as car parking and rental vehicles, more quickly than had previously been contemplated. These requirements are all part of the master plan development work being done.
With population growth in Invercargill, quite rapidly increasing land values and the limited availability of houses in and around the city, we have seen a record number of proposed subdivisions and property redevelopments in and around our land footprint, and our wider approved noise boundaries. As the key gateway to Southland, and a critical transport link into and out of the province, we are, and need to be, very focused on protecting our airport’s operational capabilities and noise boundaries to ensure we can deliver the levels of service required, both now and into the longer-term future.