While Australia’s largest carrier is busy sorting out its issues around the A380 and at the same time celebrating its 90th anniversary, the red continent’s neighbour, New Zealand, is occupied with a different sort of aviation milestone. “MileSTONE” is the perfect word here, as Wellington’s airport (IATA: WLG) reveals this Sunday its newest addition called “The Rock”.
The Rock is the new extension of New Zealand’s capital International Terminal (I reviewed the airport about a month ago; you can read that review here).
The slightly bizarre and unsurprisingly controversial extension (check out some further exterior photos here) involves the expansion of the open lounge floor area within the International Passenger Terminal, new retailing and linkages from the enlarged and reconfigured passenger processing area.
The Dominion post, a newspaper in New Zealand, reported in February that lead architect and project spokesperson Mr Barratt-Boyes to suggest that the inspiration of a rock was to counterpoint the trend with overseas terminals that have a lot of glass and focus on flight. He went on to say “It’s a haven; this is a secure place, so that before you go on your flight as an experience, you’re anchored in the ground”.
The Rock will now add to Wellington’s aviation attraction with its already highly “exciting” windy approach which is widely considered one of the world’s most challenging ones.
The festivities on Sunday will include tours around the inside and outside of the terminal as well as an air display incorporating Spitfires and RNZAF’s Iroquois and Harvard aircrafts among others and a static ground display. You can find all the details on the official website.
[Photo by Patrick Reynolds]