Auckland Airport has been named New Zealand major airport of the year for 2015.
The airport was recognised by the New Zealand Airports Association for its impressive passenger growth, the development of new routes and the collaborative approach with stakeholders.
“The judges were particularly impressed by the collaborative approach adopted by Auckland Airport with airlines, aviation security and border agencies,” New Zealand Airports Association chief executive Kevin Ward said in a statement on Friday.
“The airport has been recognised for seven years in a row by SKYTRAX as the Best Airport in the Australia/Pacific region, amongst many other industry awards.”
Auckland Airport grew passenger numbers five per cent to 15.8 million in 2014/15, with domestic travellers up 4.2 per cent to 7.2 million and international travellers growing by 5.7 per cent to 8.1 million.
International transit passengers increased by 6.7 per cent to half a million, Auckland Airport said in its full year results published on August 24.
New flights slated to begin in the period ahead include Air New Zealand’s new nonstop Auckland-Buenos Aires and Auckland-Houston services due to commence in December, while Philippine Airlines will start flights to Auckland, via Cairns, from its Manila hub in the same month.
There are also a number of extra trans-Tasman flights scheduled for the busy summer holiday and Christmas period from the likes of Air NZ, Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia.
Projects at the airport over the past year have included expanding passenger screening areas and new baggage belts, as well as two new regional aircraft stands and ongoing work to prepare for the redevelopment of the International Terminal, Auckland Airport said in a slide presentation accompanying the full year financial results.
Meanwhile, Christchurch Airport’s airfield pavements maintenance work, which included closing down both runways on two night to allow for the intersection of the two runways to be resurfaced, was recognised with the NZ Airport project of the year award.
Ward said it was the first time both runways had been closed at the same time in three decades and on both occasions the work was completed on time and with “zero harm across a big team of people and machines”, describing the project as a “great achievement and example of planning and collaboration”.
Rounding out the awards, Hamilton Airport general manager of oerations Simon Hollinger was named New Zealand Airport personality of the year.
The awards were presented on Thursday evening at the NZ Airports conference held at the Wairakei Resort in Taupo.