Hundreds sleeping in Christchurch airport terminal

11:22 am on 27 March 2012

Christchurch International Airport says hundreds of people are sleeping in its terminal every night because there is nowhere for them to stay in the city.

Christchurch has lost up to 70% of its budget accommodation providers since the devastating earthquakes, including one in February that damaged much of the central city.

The airport's chief executive, Jim Boult, says in that time, the number of people sleeping in the terminal has climbed from about 20 to over 200.

Mr Boult says because they have nowhere else to go, the airport does not kick them out, but it is now having to wear cost of increased security and cleaning bills.

The airport company is looking to negotiate the rights to establish its own on-site accommodation, he says.