Auckland Airport is embarking on a NZ$3.9 billion redevelopment, including the replacement of its 57-year-old domestic terminal.
Slated to open in 2028-29, the project will see New Zealand’s largest airport fully integrate a new domestic terminal into its international terminal, as the existing domestic terminal is almost at capacity and no longer fit for purpose.
The existing international terminal will have new floor space added across two levels via an expansion at the eastern end of the building, with key upgrades also being carried out on the airfield infrastructure including pavement and utilities. Smaller regional flights using turboprop aircraft will continue to operate from the old domestic terminal until a better solution is found.
Patrick Strange, Auckland Airport’s chair, said that had it not been for the pandemic, the redevelopment would already be well underway.
“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,” he said.
“Every dollar we spend on this infrastructure will serve travellers, airlines, and New Zealand well into the future. It will ensure New Zealand’s main gateway is resilient and sustainable, supporting airline ambitions for a low-carbon future and strengthening our infrastructure in the face of increasingly severe weather events due to climate change.”
Prior to COVID-19, 62 per cent of domestic NZ airline traffic passed through Auckland, for a total of 9.6 million domestic passengers per year. Including transits, Auckland also saw 11.5 million international passengers per year.
Carrie Hurihanganui, Auckland Airport’s CEO, said renovations “won’t cut it any more” and that passengers have been asking for an improved experience and a better gateway to the country – which she says the redevelopment will provide.
“It will make travel easier and faster, cutting domestic jet to international transfer times to a five-minute indoor walk. A new check-in experience will provide state-of-the-art facilities for both domestic and international travellers, including the ability to check in and store your bag at any time throughout the day,” she said.
“Smart baggage systems will save time and reduce stress at either end of a flight. There will be faster links to public transport via the new Transport Hub we are building on the doorstop of the international terminal. We will also provide new gates and other facilities to help airlines smooth and speed-up turn-around times.”
The airport was severely impacted by flooding in January, with flights being cancelled and passengers forced to wait for hours on aircraft.