Christchurch International Airport


If you are planning to travel to New Zealand’s southern island, Christchurch International Airport is your most likely place of arrival. It is Christchurch’s main airport and is located just 12 kilometers northwest of the city center in a small suburb known as Harewood. The airport caters to both domestic and international flights, but is also used for cargo transportation on a small scale. Garden City Helicopters is based right next to the airport, though they have several helipads around the city in strategic locations. The city’s other main helicopter service, Christchurch Helicopters, operates from the western side of the airfield near the Canterbury Aero Club’s grass runway. Though expensive, helicopter transportation provides much easier access to some of the more rugged parts of the country as well as to small cities and towns should you be in a hurry or not able to travel in a more conventional manner.

The Christchurch International Airport is a public airport that is currently operated by Christchurch International Airport Limited. It mainly serves the city of Christchurch though it may also act as an access point to South Island for international passengers. It is situated at a somewhat higher elevation than its northern counterpart, the Auckland Airport, at 123 ft (37 m). The main airport makes use of two different runways. The Primary Runway is 10 785 ft (3 287 m) in length while the Secondary Runway is a much shorter 5 712 ft (1 741 m) in length. Both feature an asphalt surface. The Secondary Runway crosses the Primary Runway at a ninety degree angle to allow aircraft to take off in adverse wind conditions. There is also a much smaller grass surfaced runway running parallel to the Primary runway. This runway is used by the Aeroclub and measures 1 690 ft (515 m) in length.

There are two main terminals – the domestic and international terminals. The domestic terminal has 5 jet ways while the international terminal has 9. The Christchurch International Airport has also been used for military aircraft in the past, though it continues to serve primarily as a public airport.

Those traveling to and from the airport may make use of taxi and shuttle services as well as the three city bus routes that service the airport. For those with their own vehicles there is a Short Term Carpark and a Multi-level Carpark.