The Hood Aerodrome Masterplan, which was prepared by Beca for Masterton District Council (MDC), was awarded the Small Airport Commercial and Non-Aeronautical Award last month at the New Zealand Airports Association (NZAA) awards.

Presented at a gala event at the Ohakea Airbase, the Judges called the master planning process "thorough and highly professional" and "an example of ‘best practice’ for master planning, expected to provide long-term benefits to the airport and community, and support all of its business activities – including future aviation infrastructure needs and other commercial opportunities".

This NZAA award recognition is a reflection of a diverse master planning team that worked under a trust model to bring the best outcomes to the table. 

Following the announcement of funding for the Hood Aerodrome in 2020 as part of the Government’s package to kick-start economies post COVID-19, the Masterplan was developed by Adam Vorstermans, Beca’s Associate - Civil Engineering, and Rick Pemberton, Beca’s Technical Director – Airport Engineering. 

"Developing this masterplan with Masterton District Council and the Hood Aerodrome community has reinforced, for me, just how important aviation is for New Zealand’s regions. It is great to see this piece of work recognized by the NZAA," says Adam.

The Masterplan sets out how and where development should proceed, enhancing Hood Aerodrome’s value to Wairarapa as regional aviation hub.

Craig Pocock, Beca’s Principal - Landscape Architecture, and Genevieve Smith, Beca’s Principal – Sustainability Advisory, also played key roles in this project. Craig guided the stakeholder engagement process throughout the project, and Genevieve led a sustainability workshop bringing in an extra layer of sustainability thinking to the Masterplan. 

The council accepted the Hood Aerodrome Masterplan in August 2021.  Beca was commended by the MDC for taking the time to listen and understand the MDC team and their stakeholders, as well as the teams approach reflecting the aspirations of the aerodrome and its users while also being realistic and achievable.

Aerodrome Manager David Hayes said the development work would significantly increase the Wairarapa’s resilience in case of natural disaster or emergency. "Developing the masterplan was the major element of first stage in development," he said. "It was important that we engaged stakeholders and the community, and this award has recognised the value of that process."

Project Manager Martyn Round said the masterplan was an essential first step and engaging the community was a necessity. "The masterplan has provided a guide to how we can improve infrastructure at Hood in a way protects options for the future. Input from the community and stakeholders was key to ensuring the masterplan is fit for purpose."

The Beca Airports team have recently started work on New Plymouth Airport’s Masterplan where they will look to build on the success and lessons of the Hood Aerodrome project.

See also October 2022