Auckland Airport advice for international travellers this summer

05 December 2017

Auckland Airport advises passengers travelling internationally in December 2017 and January 2018 to allow an extra 30 minutes for their journey through the terminal building.

Anil Varma, Auckland Airport’s acting general manager – aeronautical operations, says, “December and January are the busiest months of the year at our international terminal. Known as the summer peak, this year we are expecting around 162 international flights every day, with international passenger numbers expected to be approximately 6% higher than last summer. We are also expecting an average of around 37,500 passengers to use the international terminal on each of our ten busiest days this summer.”

“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 more 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 again this summer.”

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

Throughout the year Auckland Airport has invested more than $1 million every working day to make improvements to help support the growth in international passengers and aircraft, including building:

  • a new outbound border processing and security screening area, and a new space for departing international passengers to repack and relax after security screening;
  • a new gate lounge with two airbridges on Pier B of the international terminal – Gate 17 – to accommodate a large B787 or A380 aircraft, or two smaller aircraft. This new gate lounge increases the capacity of our western Pier B by 50%;
  • the first half of our exciting new international passenger lounge and its retail hub;
  • new toilet facilities in the international departure area;
  • a new Strata Lounge – a comfortable and relaxed space for travellers who do not belong to an airline lounge programme plus 14 airlines that choose to use the lounge to accommodate their premium passengers prior to boarding;
  • an upgraded bus lounge on Pier B to further improve journeys for travellers transferring between the terminal and an aircraft parked on remote airfield stands; and
  • a new fully-serviced remote airfield stand to accommodate international aircraft.

In preparation for this summer we have also:

  • reconfigured the international check-in area to provide seven more service counters – an 8% increase;
  • invested in 15 more mobile international self-service check-in kiosks – increasing the total number of available mobile check-in kiosks to 60;
  • purchased two new Aviramps to provide a safer and better boarding or disembarking experience for passengers whose aircraft is parked on a remote airfield stand; and
  • recruited extra staff, including 70 Passenger Experience Assistants, to help passengers at the airport.

We have also continued to work closely with the New Zealand Aviation Security Service, Customs New Zealand and the Ministry for Primary Industries. The New Zealand Aviation Security Service has installed four new state of the art security screening machines in the international departure area to increase passenger processing times. Customs New Zealand has increased the eligibility for their eGates to include Chinese passport holders, and more nationalities are expected to be delivered throughout the summer period. Auckland Airport has built a new Green Lane for use by pre-selected New Zealand and Australian passport holders who are arriving in the country and have no biosecurity items to declare to the Ministry for Primary Industries.

We have also been working on a number of initiatives to improve the transport network around the inner airport roads, and working with the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport to help improve traffic flows and reduce travel times to and from the airport. These initiatives include:

  • a new slip lane and free left-turn as part of NZTA’s upgrade of the SH20A / Verrisimo Drive intersection;
  • improving access to the domestic terminal forecourt for passengers, commercial transport operators and buses;
  • completion of the first stage of an upgrade of Nixon Road to provide a new route from the south-east to Auckland Airport’s Park&Ride on Verissimo Drive that avoids the need to use Tom Pearce Drive and George Bolt Memorial Drive;
  • an outbound bus and T2 lane on Tom Pearce Drive;
  • increasing the frequency of Auckland Transport’s Airporter 380 bus service to every 15 minutes during peak periods; and
  • Auckland Airport staff located within the Auckland Transport Operation Centre on peak days to assist with the proactive management of traffic light phasings for Auckland Airport’s network.

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;
  • following airline advice for recommended check-in times for passengers travelling to North America, due to additional security requirements for these flights;
  • 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.

“We thank everyone in advance for their understanding and support during our busiest time of the year,” says Mr Varma.


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:

  • 6 January 2018 (Busiest)
  • 5 January 2018
  • 23 December 2017
  • 22 December 2017
  • 7 January 2018
  • 13 January 2018
  • 4 January 2018
  • 12 January 2018
  • 21 December 2017
  • 20 December 2017 (10th Busiest)

For further information please contact:

Auckland Airport Public Affairs
+64 27 406 3024