AKL Update: Merging the domestic and international terminal

10 September 2021

The groundwork is being laid for a new purpose-built domestic facility to be merged into the eastern end of the existing international terminal as Auckland Airport resets its post-COVID infrastructure plans.

Site preparation early next year will kick off the first stages of a project to move jet flights arriving and departing for major New Zealand towns and cities into a new domestic hub merged into the current international terminal.

“Even though international passenger numbers are currently at historic lows it is important to set the wheels in motion now in preparation for aviation’s recovery. Kiwis want a better domestic travel experience at Auckland Airport and that’s what we’re focused on delivering,” said Auckland Airport General Manager Infrastructure, André Lovatt.

The first $30 million stage of the project is expected to get underway in early 2022, relocating important back-of-house infrastructure that lies within the footprint of the planned domestic hub. This will include demolishing the eastern baggage hall and relocating key utilities and the airport operations centre.

“The construction of a new domestic facility closely integrated with our international safe travel zone operations will provide a seamless journey between major New Zealand destinations and our global air connections. For Auckland-based travellers, a new transport hub with upgraded pedestrian, transport links, and car parking will offer a smooth connection into the terminal building,” said André.

“We previously had around 30,000 people arriving and departing at the international terminal every day. That’s fallen by around 97%. We’re taking advantage of the downturn where we can to clear the site, while bringing forward upgrades of core utilities critical to the functioning of the airport while passenger numbers are low.”

Beyond demolition, the next major phase of the $1 billion-plus domestic hub will be determined by a range of factors including the speed of aviation’s recovery.

Refreshed Plan

Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, Auckland Airport had begun delivering on over $2 billion of core aeronautical infrastructure projects with all eight “anchor projects” in either construction or feasibility and design.

Recognising the uncertainty around future aeronautical demand, our people also carried out significant work in the 2021 financial year to reprioritise and reset our infrastructure development programme.

Our refreshed plan reconfirms our commitment to our key anchor infrastructure projects, but restarting some of these developments will be determined by the longer-term recovery in aviation and we will align construction with growth in demand.

As part of its reset, Auckland Airport is continuing to advance four anchor projects as part of its wider infrastructure programme:

  • $160 million in upgrades to roading and new transit system (Northern Network and SH20B improvements)

  • $1 billion-plus new domestic hub

  • Approximately $200 million transport hub

  • Around $75 million in ongoing upgrades to the existing domestic terminal.

Anchor projects that remain on hold are:

  • Expanded international airfield and taxiway capacity

  • New cargo precinct

  • New international arrivals area

  • Second runway.