New control tower opens for Wellington airport

7:06 am on 24 August 2018

Wellington's new $20 million Air Traffic Control tower officially opened for business yesterday.

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Photo: RNZ/Katie Doyle.

It replaces the Kilbirnie tower which has been controlling the capital's skies for almost six decades.

The new tower at Lyall bay directly over looks the Airport's runway, has base isolators to withstand an earthquake, and is on a 12 degree lean.

A spokesperson for Airways, which owns the building, Tim Boyle, said everyone was not fan of the new building.

"Reaction has [mostly] been really positive, and we've also had some people who have gone, 'Uh, I'm not so sure about that building yet.'

"When you see the building up close, especially in the sunlight reflecting off the cladding, it really is quite a stunning building.

"It's built on base isolation. It has a significant tsunami wall protection capability and so it's a much more resilient building.

Air Traffic Controller Nathan O'Keefe said the central control office on the building's top floor, with 360-degree views of the airport and nearby beach, was a great place to work.

"It has nice square foot plates so we can actually do a lot with the space inside."

The tower also got a thumbs up from Wellington International Airport general manager of aeronautical operations Ayolt Wiertsema.

"It's a very nice, new and iconic building, and it really fits well into the Wellington environment and what we like to stand for."