Wristband For Allowing You To Stay At Airport

Overnight campers are allowed back at Christchurch Airport - as long as they are wearing a coloured wristband.

Last month the airport stopped visitors from staying overnight after as many as 200 commuters had been choosing to sleep inside the international terminal building each night instead of booking accommodation.

The terminal building was then closed for "cleaning and clearing" between midnight and 5am while refurbishment and fire-alarm testing took place.

The work was finished late last month and visitors were now able to stay in the airport again - but only if they could prove they had an early flight to catch.

Christchurch Airport chief operating officer Andy Lester said the airport actively discouraged people from sleeping in the terminal and anyone there late at night or early in the morning could expect to be questioned about their need to be there.

"Bona fide air travellers who can prove they have flown in late or are flying out early will be permitted to rest in a chair for those few hours."

Those arriving after 10.30pm or departing before 8am would be allowed to stay if they could show travel documents proving they were within those timeframes.

Those who met the criteria would be given a coloured wristband and not be questioned again, but would be required to respect all requests made by airport staff, Lester said.

Those without wristbands would be asked to leave after the final flights of the night arrived.

"We have worked with the city's backpackers to identify which are willing to welcome travellers after midnight, so anyone leaving the terminal definitely does have affordable options."

About 25 "bona fide travellers" were staying in the terminal each night, Lester said.

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