DALLAS – Auckland Airport (AKL) has revealed that it has gained approval to develop a new domestic terminal. The facility, costing NZ$3.9bn (US$2.4bn), is the biggest single airport redevelopment since it opened in 1966.
The new terminal will be integrated into the existing facility, and construction will begin over the coming five to six years.
Consultation with airline partners into the redevelopment has been underway since May 2011. A total of twenty-one designs have been put forward during this time as part of the consultation period, which has now drawn to a close
Years in the Planning
Speaking of the new terminal, New Zealand gateway’s chairman, Patrick Strange, said, “This is a major investment for Auckland Airport, one which we have been working towards for many years. The domestic terminal is almost 60 years old and needs replacing. It’s nearing capacity and it’s no longer fit for purpose and hasn’t been for some time. If it wasn’t for the pandemic, we would already be well underway with its replacement.
“We have worked with major airlines for over a decade on this. We’ve considered all feedback, including potential alternative locations and even further delays to infrastructure development. All of this has been carefully thought through and we have made changes where appropriate, but now we need to get on with it,” Mr Strange added.
Passengers will benefit from a new check-in system, upgraded passenger processing areas and fast baggage systems. Connections for domestic passengers to international flights are expected to be cut to just a five-minute indoor walk.
“Fit for the Future”
AKL will undertake several other redevelopment projects at the same time. Additional floor space will be added to the two levels of the existing international terminal. Upgrades will also be carried out on ‘airfield pavement’ and ‘underlying utilities.’ Up to 2,000 people will be employed at the height of construction.
Carrie Hurihanganui, AKL’s CEO, said, “A new domestic terminal integrated into the international terminal will make Auckland Airport fit for the future, providing a much-improved experience for travellers – something they’ve clearly and repeatedly told us they want.
“They’re asking for a domestic facility that offers modern spaces, efficient passenger processing areas, improved bathroom facilities and faster baggage systems, as well as better connections between domestic and international travel and via public transport and the city.
“In short, renovations just won’t cut it anymore.”
Sustainability is also key for the new terminal. Electric charge points for ground handling equipment and vehicles will be added. Construction materials for the building will also be carefully selected to reduce the carbon footprint as much as possible. There will also be an increased focus on waste management and water efficiency.
“Sustainability is a priority for us – this investment will help us move towards climate change goals and create a more sustainable airport,” Ms Hurihanganui noted.
“We have worked very closely with major airlines to understand their needs and requirements, including the investment they’re making in larger domestic aircraft, and their planned future low carbon aircraft. We are supporting airlines by installing ground power units at each gate to supply power to aircraft, helping to reduce fuel use.
“Without the right airport infrastructure any airline aspirations to a low carbon future will not be achieved,” Ms Hurihanganui said.
Featured Image: Auckland Airport’s international terminal in May 2014. Photo: Auckland Airport.