“In the 50 years since Auckland Airport opened, how New Zealanders travel and where we travel to has changed significantly. At the same time Auckland’s airport has evolved and grown from only several hundred thousand passengers in 1966 to over 18.7 million this year,” says Auckland Airport Chief Executive, Adrian Littlewood.
Interestingly most of that has happened in just the past few years. The last few years has brought a 26% growth in passenger numbers and a 61% increase in international airlines in the last 22months alone.
It’s no surprise then that the airline is investing into improving its terminal buildings and that is already underway. But the latest development is an enhanced improvement programme. Some of the key infrastructure projects planned for delivery at Auckland Airport between 2018 and 2022, include expanding and upgrading the international departure experience; providing three more contact gates for international aircraft, such as the A380 and B787; building a new domestic jet terminal joined onto the existing international terminal; improving the international arrival experience by expanding the border processing area and public arrivals space; upgrading the international check-in area; and investments in public transport, roading and walking projects.
The biggest change to the airport includes transforming the entire forecourt concourse , integrating multi-storey carpark buildings with an extensively landscaped plaza designed to provide a memorable and uniquely New Zealand sense of arrival and departure from the country.
Interestingly Auckland was given the go-ahead to build a new runway back in 2002, however, as a result in aircraft size and the number of flights over the last decade, Auckland Airport will safely be able to operate for another 11 years with just the single runway.
The new terminal space has been designed by international airport design specialists Gensler, in partnership with New Zealand architects Jasmax. The airport set them the task of creating a world-class airport experience with a uniquely “New Zealand theme – a journey from the sea through the forests to the mountains and the sky”, that unfolds as passengers make their way from security screening to departure gate.