Major capital expenditure projects intended to improve how customers experience the airport have resumed at New Zealand’s Auckland Airport.
In June, enabling works will begin on the Auckland Airport Transport Hub – a NZ$300m-plus development that will transform how travellers arrive and depart from the main airport terminal, while paving the way for any future mass rapid transit capabilities. The project is also the critical initial step in enabling delivery of the future new combined domestic and international terminal.
Chief executive Carrie Hurihanganui said: “At Auckland Airport we are starting a new chapter of infrastructure investment that is all about building a better future for travellers from the moment they step foot on our precinct.
“Easy and intuitive journeys are an important part of this, and we’re excited about the benefits that the Transport Hub will bring. It will place existing and future public transport at the heart of Auckland Airport and create a seamless arrival and departure experience for passengers, with a direct connection to the combined international and domestic terminal.”
The Transport Hub, to be built in the footprint of the main international carpark, has been designed to allow traffic to flow through its ground floor. Two traffic lanes will enter from Ray Emery Drive into an undercover pick-up and drop-off area with a short covered walk into the terminal.
Built to double height, the ground floor of the four-storey building will accommodate buses as well as cars, with the upper floors featuring smart car parking, electric vehicle charging stations and office spaces, all designed to meet the ‘Parksmart’ green parking building standard. Attached to the Transport Hub will be an office building.
To provide for a future shift to mass rapid transit, the airport has set aside land adjoining the new Transport Hub to provide for an integrated mass transit station, while the inner forecourt road will remain dedicated to buses and commercial transport.
“This is an exciting development that we have been planning for many years, and one that will transform the experience for customers entering and leaving the combined domestic and international terminal, making the process much easier and faster.
“The Transport Hub is an essential first move which will allow us to get on and build a new domestic travel experience at the eastern end of the international terminal,” Hurihanganui said.
Along with the Transport Hub, the airport is progressing a suite of major developments that will transform the travel experience, including NZ$185m enabling works for its combined international and domestic terminal.
Improved baggage system
Next month, demolition of the international terminal’s eastern baggage hall will take place, making way for the development of a high-tech baggage handling system that will transform the way travellers’ luggage is managed.
In planning for three years, Auckland will install an entirely new baggage handling process, introducing new technology and enhanced operations via an Individual Carrier System (ICS). The automated solution uses real-time data to track baggage as it journeys around back-of-house airport infrastructure.
Demolition of the eastern bag hall will be carried out alongside other works to clear the eastern airfield for the future construction of a new domestic pier connected to the existing international terminal. Hurihanganui described these building projects as important steppingstones towards the new combined domestic and international terminal, with major construction of the NZ$1bn-plus project yet to begin. She said timing would be guided by the pace of the recovery in aviation, with the total transformation project expected to take about five years to complete once major works begin.