Queenstown and Wānaka airports have moved to Alert Level 4 as of11:59pm on Wednesday March 25 .
Queenstown Airport Corporation (QAC) chief executive Colin Keel said the immediate focus is on essential travel - getting travellers to where they need to be over the next few days and completing the transition to Alert Level 4 operations by the government deadline.
“The airlines at Queenstown Airport are providing essential travel so that Kiwis can get home, and overseas travellers can meet onward connections.
“Once this is completed, we will effectively be moving to utility lifeline status and operations will be restricted to transporting people for essential services, freight services and biosecurity checks,” he said.
“Access to the terminal building will also be restricted. All non-essential operational staff have been working from home and will continue to do so.”
With Alert Level 3 in effect (Wednesday), all airport terminal operators (retailers, cafes and rental car providers) are making arrangements to close their stores down before the government deadline. From Thursday onwards, limited food and beverage options will be available to travellers and staff via vending machines and free water stations.
At Wānaka Airport, non-essential services such as the Warbirds and Wheels Café and the museums are also in the process of closing by Thursday.
Keel said that QAC is working closely with airlines and agencies to gather and share the latest information regarding flights as well as liaising with the Ministry of Health and the district’s emergency response team on community response plans.
“The situation is moving quickly so our advice to travellers is to check with their airline directly for the latest flight updates,” he said.
Flight information is also available on Queenstown Airport’s website and schedule changes are updated daily.