By Will Lee
Auckland Airport Commences Integration for Domestic and International Terminals
After twelve years of consulting with the airlines, Auckland, New Zealand’s Airport will start the biggest redevelopment project of combining its domestic and international terminal. Auckland Airport — the main gateway to New Zealand — has struggled to combine two terminals for years. The pandemic has paused the integration program as a result. The scheme is a significant investment for the airport since the opening of the airport.
According to the airport, the 57-year-old terminal is near its capacity and “hasn’t been for some time.” Auckland said the aeronautical fees of the current domestic terminal are 40 – 50% less than other airports in Australia and New Zealand in response to the aging facilities. The scheme could employ up to 2,000 workers at the height of constructions.
“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,” Carrie Hurihanganui Auckland Airport’s Chief Executive said.
The combined terminal is set to complete between 2028 and 2029 with a 3.9 billion New Zealand Dollars ($2.44 billion) price tag. Auckland said the new combined terminal would add floor space across two levels to the existing international terminal, including upgrade to airfield pavement. The new facilities could save passenger’s time, decreasing the domestic flight to international transfer times to a five minutes indoor walk.
Auckland emphasised the importance of the sustainability and the new investment could make the airport more sustainable.
According to Airports Council International, the airports around the global are going to spend $2.4 trillion on airport infrastructure over the next two decades, of which more than half of the investment will take place in the Asia Pacific Region. The airport handled 9.6 million passengers at the domestic terminal and 11.5 million international passengers before Covid.
After two and half years, Auckland has made a recovery from the pandemic, turning in the black in the first half of the financial year of 2023. Earlier, New Zealand rolled out the red carpet for the Chinese visitors. The Chinese government has given a green light to the travel agency to organize the sightseeing tours to New Zealand in the early phase of reopening its border.
The travellers from China have arrived in Auckland at the right time as the number of North American visitors has been seen decreasing after the peak season. The Chinese visitors fill the gap and provide a late summer boost.
China is New Zealand’s second largest visitor market before the pandemic. In the wake of the surge of travel demand, Air New Zealand, China Eastern Airlines and Southern Airlines are going to enhance their services to Auckland by adding flight frequencies to seven-times-a-week.