International departure area upgrade

Auckland Airport’s international departure area is a unique part of New Zealand: it is its gateway to the world. Improving this final experience of New Zealand is a key part of our 30-year vision to build the ‘airport of the future’.

The current extensive upgrade of the international departure area will reconfigure, streamline and enhance the border processing experience, and deliver a world-class passenger lounge and retail hub, more than twice the size of the previous space.

The new space has been designed by international airport design specialists Gensler, in partnership with New Zealand architects Jasmax. We 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.

The design acknowledges that the natural elements, and our respect for them, are hugely important to New Zealand’s enduring appeal to visitors to this country. A sentiment, and a story, shared by our tourism partners.

Over the 12 months to April 2017, over 10 million passengers used our international terminal. We expect that number to continue to grow even further year on year.

To accommodate our increasing passenger numbers while we build, we’re carrying out this highly complex construction project in stages. The first stage will see us concentrate on the first part of the journey, introducing new customs and security processing facilities and a new ‘transition’ lounge. This new feature has been designed to allow travellers to regroup after security processing and help dissolve any lingering pre-travel nerves.

Also as part of this first stage, which will be completed by late 2017, we’ll be partially revealing the new store layouts of our two duty free retailers, Aelia Duty Free and The Loop Duty Free. The full transformation of the passenger lounge and retail hub will ultimately be completed by late 2018.

Like another New Zealand icon, the classic Kiwi bach, the airport terminal has been tinkered with and added to over the years. Efforts to accommodate the changing demands of air travel have left behind a maze of structures, rooms, corridors and even a ‘bridge to nowhere’ that we have had to demolish to make the most of what space we have.

The international terminal will remain open throughout the upgrade of the departure area. However, to ensure all construction activity remains out of view, the lounge space will continue to shrink and contort a little before it springs back out to its expanded final form.