Auckland Airport advice for international travellers this summer

02 December 2016

Auckland Airport is advising passengers travelling internationally in December 2016 and January 2017 to allow an extra 30 minutes for their journey through the terminal building.

Judy Nicholl, Auckland Airport’s general manager – aeronautical operations, says, “December and January are always the busiest months of the year at our international terminal. Known as the summer peak, this year we expect around 150 international flights every day, which is more than 10% higher than last summer. We are also expecting more than 30,000 passengers to use the international terminal every day, which will be at least 15% higher than last summer on some days.”

“Many of us have a standard routine when departing or arriving Auckland Airport. Just like last year, we recommend everyone allows an extra 30 minutes for travel through the international terminal over the next couple of months. This will help ensure they have a relaxed journey. They should also give themselves extra time to travel to and from the airport, given the high level of roadworks happening around the Auckland region this summer.”

“Auckland Airport has been working closely with all stakeholders at the airport, including the airlines and joint border agencies, to ensure the airport can operate efficiently and effectively during the busy summer period.”

Auckland Airport has also continued to make improvements to help support the growth in international passengers and aircraft this summer, including:

  • installing 45 mobile international self-service check-in kiosks;
  • reconfiguring its international check-in area to provide 13 more service counters;
  • upgrading the back-of-house international baggage handling system;
  • building a new taxiway and a new fully-serviced airfield stand, and enhancing two remote airfield stands to accommodate larger international aircraft;
  • opening new female toilet facilities in the international arrivals area; and
  • installing new large scale 75-inch Flight Information Display Screens on the ground floor of the international terminal, to improve way-finding and to reduce congestion around smaller screens.

Once again this summer Auckland Airport has recruited extra staff, including more than 60 Passenger Experience Assistants, to help passengers at the airport. We have also worked with the New Zealand Aviation Security Service to:

  • install a seventh security screen machine in the international departures area, increasing security processing capacity by around 16%; and
  • increase the capacity of the international transit screening facility by an extra 200 passengers per hour, from 350 passengers to 540 passengers.

In addition to the above initiatives we have also been focused on a number of transport initiatives to improve travel times within the airport roading network:

  • upgraded the Puhinui roundabout to help improve access to the airport from State Highway 20B/Puhinui Road;
  • added 1,000 more car parks to our ParknRide, mostly for use by staff working at the international terminal, to remove cars from the inner airport roads and to provide an additional 850 public car parks closer to the international terminal. A new valet parking service has also been introduced at our ParknRide;
  • introduced The Wait Zone at both the international and domestic terminals – this is the easiest way to pick up travellers, with free parking for 30 minutes just two minutes away from the terminals, and helps keep traffic moving in the drop-off/pick-up zones;
  • completed a new taxi tender which has dropped the average taxi fare from the airport to the city centre by $30, with the cost of the journey now as low as $38;
  • improved the traffic light phasing at the airport’s George Bolt Memorial Drive and Tom Pearce Drive intersection to improve traffic flows;
  • developed new traffic management plans for use when the airport roading network is busy; and
  • worked with NZTA to both improve state highway access to and from the airport and increase real time travel information for drivers.

Passengers can play their part to help keep things moving at the international terminal this summer by:

  • Booking a car park online, well ahead of their day of travel to maximise their choice of location and to secure a better deal;
  • Allowing 30 minutes extra for their journeys through the international terminal building;
  • Ensuring their hand luggage meets airline requirements;
  • Completing their international departure card before reaching Customs;
  • Ensuring any liquid, aerosol and gel containers in their hand luggage are not larger than 100ml, and are all placed in one re-sealable, transparent plastic bag (20cm x 20cm or smaller) and put in an easily accessible location;
  • Asking the person who is picking them up to park in The Wait Zone, until they receive a text or phone call saying you are ready for collection; and
  • Checking the Auckland Airport website and App for the latest flight and travel information.

“Auckland Airport’s international terminal will also be a busy place this summer due to the major upgrade of our international departure area. Construction of this project is now well underway and the first stage will open mid-2017 – delivering a new passport control, security screening and processing area, and some new space for our two duty free stores. And out on the airfield, passengers will be able to see the work we are doing to extend Pier B of the international terminal to provide additional lounges and airbridges, so that Pier B can accommodate four more A320 aircraft or two more A380 aircraft. Combined, these two construction projects represent the most significant upgrade to our international airport capacity in several decades and set us on the path to our airport of the future.”

“We thank everyone in advance for their understanding and support during our busiest time of the year,” concludes Ms Nicholl.


Note for media:

The top-ten 10 busiest days at Auckland Airport’s international terminal building during this summer peak season are expected to be:

  1. 8 January 2017 (Busiest)
  2. 7 January 2017
  3. 1 January 2017
  4. 15 January 2017
  5. 6 January 2017
  6. 31 December 2016
  7. 22 December 2016
  8. 13 January 2017
  9. 5 January 2017
  10. 18 December 2016 (10th Busiest)

For further information please contact:

Simon Lambourne
+64 27 477 6120