09 June 2022
A new valet parking service aimed at smoothing the journey for travellers with limited mobility is opening at Auckland Airport.
Available to Mobility Parking Permit holders, the Mobility Valet provides an assisted parking service right outside the international terminal for the same price as parking in one of the airport’s long-stay car parks.
It’s one of a raft of parking changes at Auckland Airport as the main car park at the international terminal, Car Park A, closes to make way for the construction of a multi-storey Transport Hub, a $300 million-plus development that will transform how travellers arrive and depart from the main airport terminal.
Jayne Wear, Head of Commercial Products and Transport at Auckland Airport said construction of the Transport Hub is something Auckland Airport has been planning for years and with traveller numbers low it created a perfect opportunity to make the changes.
“We know construction can be disruptive. While we’ve worked hard to ensure arriving and departing from Auckland Airport is as smooth as possible, everyone will notice changes to some of the familiar car parks and ways of moving around the airport,” she said.
“Some things aren’t changing. The public pick-up and drop-off area, and zones for taxi, rideshare, bus and shuttle operators remain where they are right outside the international terminal doors. But the closure of Car Park A means our mobility parking spaces will be relocated to Car Park D and Car Park E while the Transport Hub is constructed.”
The closest car parks to the international terminal, Car Parks D and E, are approximately seven- to 10-minutes’ walk from the terminal via a covered pedestrian connection. A high-frequency bus service is also connecting with the international terminal every seven minutes, stopping close to the car parks’ mobility parking spaces. The buses can “kneel” on request and have a dedicated wheelchair space on board.
“The last couple of months has seen international travel reopen again, but it’s important the excitement of travel is available for everyone to experience safely and comfortably,” Ms Wear said.
“We also wanted to give disabled travellers a choice. Mobility Parking Permit holders can park in one of the designated mobility parking spaces in our main car parks or have the option of a Mobility Valet service, which brings ease and assistance to their journey.”
The mobility valet parking option is available to holders of Mobility Parking permits issued by CCS Disability Action and can be booked online via the Auckland Airport website for the same price as long-term car parking.
Ms Wear said Auckland Airport’s valet parking staff have been receiving training from driving instructors at Freedom Mobility, a mobility vehicle rental company offering modified cars and vans for disabled drivers and disabled passengers, and wheelchair users from Spinal Support NZ.
“Not all Mobility Parking Permit holders are wheelchair users or have modified vehicles – some will have non-visible disabilities that impact their mobility – but it was about getting the Valet Parking team familiar with some of the vehicle customisations they might encounter.
“It’s also been an opportunity for our team to ask questions of wheelchair users and gain an understanding of how they can support mobility parking users. I am extremely grateful for support we’ve had from Freedom Mobility and the Spinal Support NZ team. We look forward to their feedback on the service now it’s gone live,” said Ms Wear.
“I'm also really proud of the team offering the Mobility Valet service. We are thinking carefully about the different needs of our travellers as they come back to the international terminal. We want to make sure that everybody has an enjoyable start to their travel experience. And if we can make that a little bit easier for our travellers with mobility needs, that's a great outcome.”