9 Aug 2021

Auckland Airport terminal upgrades going ahead

12:42 pm on 9 August 2021

Auckland Airport is going ahead with plans to merge the domestic and international terminals although four other big projects remain on hold until demand returns.

Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood

Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said there was more certainty in the company's ability to plan now than since the beginning of the pandemic. Photo: RNZ / Nick Monro

In addition to the development of a new terminal, Auckland Airport is continuing to upgrade its roading system and existing domestic terminal.

However, four other large projects are on hold; an expanded international airfield and taxiway, new cargo precinct, new international arrivals area and a second runway.

"We probably have more certainty in our ability to plan now than we have had in the last 18 months since the pandemic began," Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said, noting the acceleration of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.

"Even though international passenger numbers are currently at historic lows it is important to set the wheels in motion now in preparation for aviation's recovery. Kiwis want a better domestic travel experience at Auckland Airport and that's what we're focused on delivering."

He said the priority was the integration of the domestic terminal with international terminal, with groundwork to begin early next year, with the first phase of development expected to take one year at a cost of about $30 million.

Artist's impression of the planned domestic terminal at Auckland Airport.

Artist's impression of the planned domestic terminal at Auckland Airport. Photo: Supplied / Auckland Airport

"The construction of a new domestic facility closely integrated with our international safe travel zone operations will provide a seamless journey between major New Zealand destinations and our global air connections.

"For Auckland-based travellers, a new transport hub with upgraded pedestrian, transport links, and car parking will offer a smooth connection into the terminal building," Littlewood said.

The domestic terminal development was expected to cost more than $1 billion to complete over the next five years and would be about three times the size of the current terminal.

"We're taking advantage of the downturn (in international passenger traffic) where we can, demolishing and relocating operations and services to clear the domestic hub site, while bringing forward upgrades of core utilities critical to the functioning of the airport while passenger numbers are low.

"The low-traffic environment has also allowed us to re-look at and refine the original design and construction phasing to arrive at what we think will be an even better end result," he said.