Improvements being made to enhance the traveller experience are becoming increasingly visible at New Zealands gateway, Auckland Airport.
Really good progress is being made on two of our major terminal developments the extreme makeover at the domestic terminal, and the expansion of the arrivals area at the international terminal, said Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) chief executive officer Don Huse.
Travellers are already enjoying the new regional facilities at the domestic terminal, along with the popular retail, food and beverage precinct linking the Air New Zealand and Qantas terminals. The current phase of the redevelopment involves a major renovation of the Air New Zealand check-in area.
The expansion of the arrivals area of the international terminal will incorporate a large increase in the capacity of arrivals passenger border processing. The project, which will cost in the order of $85 million, is programmed for completion by April 2008.
The international arrivals retail space will almost double and arriving passengers will move from the current pier to the new shopping area along a walkway with views over the airfield and Manukau Harbour. Buying duty free on arrival into New Zealand is an increasingly popular way for travellers to purchase their duty free goods, said Mr Huse.
The colour steel external cladding is underway with completion scheduled for August. Internally, framing is advancing, installation of services has commenced and the escalators are in place.
The area will provide significantly more space for border screening. It will also increase flexibility and reduce peak time delays. The position of the new extension takes into account the international terminals future development, including a second pier, which will be further to the west. The airport worked closely with airlines, government border agencies and other stakeholders to design and plan developments such as the new arrivals processing area.
Meanwhile, work is progressing at the domestic terminal, with a new baggage handling facility in operation behind the scenes. In the regional airline area, windows will allow passengers to look out to the runway and watch aircraft. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows are to be added to the front of the terminal, which will bring a lot more natural light into the building. Expanded security screening points, a large number of aesthetic alterations and the two covered car park buildings at the domestic terminal, are all improvements that will be welcomed by meeters, greeters and travellers alike.
The $30 million project to upgrade the domestic terminal facilities is part of an extreme makeover being undertaken jointly by AIAL and Air New Zealand. AIALs returns on this investment will be derived from additional rental, aeronautical charges and retail income.
The domestic terminal redevelopment will be completed in December this year, in time for the busy summer travelling season. Mr Huse said that, despite a tight, live construction site, architects, engineers and builders are doing their utmost to minimise the impact on travellers and other airport users and customers.
Mr Huse said the airports comprehensive growth investment programme is very much focussed on enhancing the overall passenger experience.
Our investment programme is designed to ensure that, as the countrys main international gateway, we can continue to promote the anticipated strong growth in tourism. It will enable us to deliver high quality facilities and services for travellers and our airline customers. It also means we will be well prepared to welcome the tens of thousands of people visit New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup in 2011.