13 December 2023
- New pick up/drop off area to open early in the new year
- Projected to more than double the amount of public pick up/drop off area currently on offer (320m or a 200% increase)
- Built for 650 vehicles throughput p/hr at peak times
- Transport Hub development paves the way for new domestic terminal development
- Carparks and upper floors open late 2024
The way people travel through New Zealand’s busiest gateway is about to change, with a world-class Transport Hub to open at the centre of the airport early next year.
Over the past 12 months, the old main carpark outside the international terminal has been transformed into a new $300 million transport centre, with the first stage of the development to open early next year.
Providing a new arrival and departure point directly outside the international terminal, the 70,000m2 building will provide more space for people to drop off and pick up family and friends, a new roading layout and convenient public transport connections, all protected from the weather in a modern, under-cover environment.
“This will be the biggest change to Auckland Airport in decades, creating a new welcome and departure experience for international visitors to Tāmaki Makaurau with our new Transport Hub,” said Auckland Airport Chief Executive Carrie Hurihanganui.
“We’re excited to deliver a critical piece of transport infrastructure that will not only free up congestion outside the international terminal and make journeys smoother; we’re also getting on with improving the streetscape around the international terminal with a landscaped pedestrian plaza and covered walkways for what will be a fantastic uplift in the overall travel experience.
“Alongside this, there will be increased native planting in the pedestrian plaza, including mature Pohutukawa trees which have been relocated from other parts of the airport precinct. This new planting reduces the amount of concrete and asphalt in the area by 20 per cent assisting with the way we manage stormwater on precinct.”
Each day over 50,000 people travellers fly to and from Auckland Airport, with the new Transport Hub to play an integral role in their commute to and from the international terminal.
At 200 metres long, each floor of the four-storey structure is the size of two rugby fields with a double height open ground floor. Dedicated transport lanes for buses and taxis and public pick up and drop off will run through the base of the facility, providing plenty of space for 650 cars, buses, rideshares and taxis that are expected to travel through it during peak hour.
Public transport is being prioritised, using the lanes closest to the terminal. Alongside this, there are separate areas for public pick-up, priority drop off areas for people with accessibility needs, and a drop off zone for commercial transport.
Set to open in stages over 2024, Ms Hurihanganui said there are currently over 350 people on site each day getting the new undercover pickup/drop off zone ready to open, with the upper storeys of the building to open later in 2024.
“It’ll be a far cry from the big, open-air, ground level car park previously in this space and our first real opportunity to show how carefully we’re thinking about the customer experience as we’ve built from the ground up a whole new way of arriving and departing into the airport.
“Clearly that’s about the physical structure – making it easy to find your way around, keeping pedestrian paths safe and undercover, having lots of space available for drop-offs and pick-ups, or being able to quickly slip into a P60 car park if your drop-off plans change from a quick ‘kiss and go’ to making that farewell over a pre-departure coffee,” she said.
The Transport Hub will provide other efficiencies, including making the airport more sustainable and reducing its environmental impact.
Its roof will carry a 1.2-megawatt rooftop solar array which will help to power 33 public electric vehicle charging stations when the carpark opens, along with a new office building taking shape at the end of the development. Designed to a 5-Star Green rating, it will provide office and meeting spaces the airport’s operational teams and partner organisations when it opens towards the end of 2024. We have also protected land next to the Transport Hub for a future mass rapid transit station to be added directly alongside when required.”
The Transport Hub will not only improve the airport arrival and departure experience for travellers, it’s also a critical project to unlock development of the new domestic jet terminal to be integrated into the eastern end of international terminal. Once the new pick up/drop off area is open in the Transport Hub, construction teams will close public access to the existing forecourt outside the international terminal, making way for terminal construction.
Ms Hurihanganui said the Transport Hub will also provide the capacity needed not only to cater for today’s traveller but for the future transport needs of both domestic jet and international travellers, once the combined terminal opens in 2028/2029.
“Auckland Airport is a fast-growing precinct not only for travel but also as a centre for business. Ongoing investment our transport network is critical to ensure the airport is resilient and fit for the future, ensuring we are set up to provide a range of transport options to travellers and workers coming to and from the airport.”
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