Hamilton International Airport, Hamilton, New Zealand

Client: Waikato Regional Airport
Timeframe: Two years – 2005 to 2007
Total value: $20m

Components: Airport terminal facilities – hospitality, retail, check-in, baggage handling, parking

Project description:

Hamilton International Airport is the gateway to the tourism attractions of the Central North Island. Air traffic to and from the airport has been increasing steadily in recent years, putting a strain on terminal facilities. This $15m upgrade aimed to provide Hamilton with a contemporary, efficient airport terminal. To achieve this, the airport needed a wider range of food and beverage offerings, covered parking facilities, improved retail experiences, more check in counters and an internal baggage carousel.

Our role

Xigo employees handled project management for the airport upgrade from inception to completion. Working closely with the client’s team, we managed design, procurement, construction and engineering to the contract.

Main challenges

  • Keeping the airport fully operational during the upgrade process
  • Minimising disruption to passengers and airline employees
  • Getting the most from a relatively small budget, to ensure the upgrade would achieve its aims
  • Maximising re-use of existing structure to preserve budget for new facilities
  • Understanding and coordinating with complex baggage-handling systems
  • Ensuring that airlines using the terminal would be able to function efficiently and get maximum benefit from the new facility

Our approach

We selected a design team that had experience with re-using existing components to make a tight budget achieve more. We also employed value management principles to achieve a desirable balance between the wants and needs of stakeholders and the resources needed to satisfy them. Detailed staging and programming – involving the design team, builders and airport company – allowed airport activities to continue unimpeded. A member of our team was on site during construction.


As a result of the terminal upgrade, travellers and visitors to the region are enjoying a more positive and modern airport experience. The terminal improvements have been a total success, with the project finishing on time and on budget. The terminal was awarded the 2008 Property Council NZ Special Purposes Building Award.