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Auckland Airport to begin new domestic terminal works this year

written by Jake Nelson | May 6, 2024

An artist’s impression of the new domestic terminal at Auckland Airport. (Image: AIAL)

Auckland Airport has unveiled images of its new multi-billion-dollar domestic terminal, which it says will boost processing capacity by 44 per cent and improve passenger experience.

The new terminal, which will cost NZ$2.2 billion for the terminal itself and $1.7 billion in additional integration costs, will include 12 jet aircraft gates to create 26 per cent more seat capacity, as well as two baggage claims and a connection with the existing international terminal.

“It will be an end to the blind corners, the scramble for available seating and the standing in the corridors that mark the current domestic terminal experience to something we’re proud to have visitors to our city and country to experience,” said the airport’s chief customer officer, Scott Tasker.

The 12 new gates will be capable of handling Code C aircraft such as the A321; additionally, by combining aircraft stands, six gates will be able to handle wide-body Code E jet aircraft with 300+ seats.

“It’s not too dissimilar to what we have at the international terminal with Pier B gates able to handle an A380 or two narrowbody Code C aircraft. That flexibility creates capacity to manage demand surges, for example adding flights for an All Blacks game in Dunedin, and adds a 26 per cent uplift in seat capacity overall,” said Tasker.


The new facilities, which will replace Auckland’s current aging domestic terminal, has been the subject of controversy, with airlines including Air New Zealand saying it will lead to “unaffordable airfares” due to increases in airport charges.

Auckland Airport charges, currently NZ$10.25 per passenger, will move to $15.45 by 2027, which the airport says is similar to other major airports in the country.

Greg Foran, CEO of Air New Zealand, said in February that while the new airport will “look great”, it will not include an additional runway or deliver much new capacity, and that “the value of the airport’s asset base, which dictates the size of its charges, will have increased per-passenger domestic charges five times, with more to come in the future”.

“Air New Zealand agrees the airport needs redevelopment, but not at a cost that means some Kiwis can’t afford to fly. This issue affects all passengers flying through Auckland Airport – especially those from the regions,” he said.

According to Tasker, the airport is not overspending on the new terminal, with the expected costs to be in line with other comparable airport upgrades around the world.

“We’ve been careful to benchmark the terminal design against other airports. Like us, airports around the world are underway upgrading infrastructure that was built to manage aircraft flying in the 1960s and 70s,” said Tasker.

“This means we have some good examples to reference, including right across the Tasman where Brisbane Airport is underway with a $5 billion programme that includes a new third terminal and existing terminal refurbishment.

“Internationally, airport standards are lifting considerably off the back of this global investment and so are traveller expectations. That will mean an increase in the charges airlines pay to use our domestic terminal facilities.

“In Auckland, these charges have long been at the bottom of the table compared to other major airports in New Zealand given the age of the current domestic terminal, and they will rise in line with the delivery of these much-needed improvements and the resulting lift in customer experience but at a much lower level than has been speculated.”

Works are expected to begin later this year, with the integrated terminal to open in 2028–29.

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