You may have heard about Christchurch Airport’s new “red” international arrivals pathway, but you probably won’t have seen it.
The only people who use it are eligible passengers from specified flights, who have permission to land in Christchurch on their way to 14 days in a Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MiQ) facility.
Christchurch Airport is the only South Island airport, and one of only two in New Zealand, with such a pathway for passengers who cannot come out into public areas of the terminal and interact only with border staff and health staff.
The passengers go through the arrivals processes ‘back of house’, then walk through the specially built pathway out the back of the terminal and onto a bus that takes them straight to their MiQ hotel.
The special pathway took six months to build. It was done in partnership with government departments and with health officials overseeing plans as they were drafted.
It ensures that international arrivals will not mix with any other passengers or share facilities, which means that Christchurch Airport can manage all groups of passengers now and into the future.
Christchurch Airport has put one of its Pepper robots into the red pathway to welcome the arriving passengers and explain the process they are going through.
Having Pepper there to reassure and inform the passengers, also means fewer airport staff are required in the red pathway – another way to keep people safe.