Ready for the restart: Auckland Airport gears up for travellers to return

29 November 2021

It’s not quite rolling out the red carpet, but domestic travellers will be welcomed back to Auckland Airport next month on $160 million of improvements to the roading network.

André Lovatt, General Manager Infrastructure, said Auckland Airport had been working hard upgrading its core roading network, widening and creating new roads, adding high occupancy vehicle lanes, and improving pedestrian and cycle paths.

He said the quieter skies over the past 20 months have provided a window of opportunity to complete the major project with less inconvenience to road users.

“Our roads are usually some of the busiest in Auckland, so we’ve made the most of the drop-off in passenger numbers and flow-on effect on traffic volumes to get this project done, with the roads now ready to go for the restart of domestic travel from Auckland on December 15th.”

Mr Lovatt said one of the biggest changes people will notice is a new road taking traffic away from the international terminal. Travellers will now exit the terminal via a one-way loop system aimed at moving traffic, including public transport connections, smoothly around past the international terminal before reconnecting into George Bolt Memorial Drive, the airport’s roading gateway from the north.

“Measuring around 800m in length, the terminal exit road will deliver big gains when passenger numbers return in force, by allowing traffic flows in and out of the terminals to work efficiently.

“Our roading network at the airport is about 40km in total and whether it’s travellers catching a flight or cargo operators transporting goods, everyone using the roads at Auckland Airport is on a deadline and we need to make sure our network is robust, now and into the future,” he said.

Beginning in mid-2019, the now completed upgrade to the airport’s roading system integrates into the public transport improvements along SH20B, including the electric bus service connecting the upgraded Puhinui Station with the airport terminals every 10 minutes.

“The project has also focused on upgrading the infrastructure network below the ground. We now have a transport network ready to meet future demands, as well as our other important utility connections that support the around-the-clock operation of the airport,” he said.

“I would really like to thank our regular road users for their patience while we have carried out these works, and, of course, the team that has delivered the project, and we’re really excited that these roads will be ready to welcome back travellers to and from Auckland next month.”

Mr Lovatt said the airport had continued to advance several other infrastructure projects during the pandemic.

These include:

  • A three-year programme of work renewing pavements on the airfield
  • Renewal of the airfield fuel pipeline network
  • Preparatory work towards a multistorey transport hub and future integrated terminal development.