Hamilton Airport is too taxing

I travelled to Christchurch the other day and now have to pay a $5 departure tax from Hamilton Airport for Domestic Travel. The tax^ is required to pay for the interest charges on the new terminal.

Here are my issues with it:

  • The Hamilton airport is a regional airport and is the gateway to the region. The terminal needed upgrading because it was by far the most butt ugly terminal for the size of the region it services. In my view the shareholders (being Hamilton City Council 50% and the other regional councils) should have seen this coming, as the business case either always included this or was so far wrong somebody should go. The value of the airport company jumped $22 million in just one year (69%), slightly more than the $600k in interest payments.
  • They are charging me a departure tax for a new terminal that won’t be finished for another 18 months. In the meantime it’s portable toilets outside.
  • They have twice increased the car parking charges as well. It was $8 a day, then went to $10 a day and is now $20 a day. I am being taxed twice!
  • I really really dislike queuing as it is. Now I have to queue twice once for my ticket and the other time to pay departure tax. No four times. I queue to check in, queue for departure tax, queue to handover more tax to get to the gate, queue to get on the plane.

The board and management team lack the ability to think in an ingenious way. Taxing the departing visitor is dumb. I thought the purpose of the airport increase visitors to the region.

A final note. It takes me 30 mins from home to the airport. To get to Christchurch direct is 1:50. If I drive to Auckland it will take me 1 hour and I get a 1:20 flight time, cheaper flights in bigger planes with more leg space, more frequency and better services and lounges. Hamilton Airport assumes people like me won’t do that.

They are wrong.

Ingenious Rating : 0