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Auckland Airport begins work on $300m transport hub, still no decision on a combined domestic international terminal

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Auckland Airport will soon begin work on a new $300 million+ transport hub delayed two years by the global pandemic.

Preparation for the hub, which will be built in the main car park of the international terminal, will begin next month with the closure of the car park and the first stage, a covered pick-up and drop-off area, will open by the end of 2023.

Auckland Airport chief executive Carrie Hurihanganui said there was also room for a transit station for the proposed light rail from the city centre, and a decision on the The long-awaited combined $1 billion domestic international terminal schedule would be taken when the airport had a clearer picture of future passenger numbers.

Artist's impression of a new $300 million transport hub next to a future combined international terminal at Auckland Airport.

Provided

Artist’s impression of a new $300 million transport hub next to a future combined international terminal at Auckland Airport.

The double-height ground floor of the four-story transportation hub will accommodate buses as well as cars, with upper floors featuring smart parking, electric vehicle charging stations and an adjoining office building.

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Hurihanganui said he worked hard to avoid disruptions by carefully organizing the work.

The 750 spaces in Parking A outside the International Terminal will close on June 8 and public parking will be moved to Parking Lots D and E, so visitors will face a free shuttle or a 5-10 minute walk from the terminal.

Auckland Airport's east baggage hall will be demolished to make way for new facilities that will eventually allow passengers to check in their bags well before flights open.

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Auckland Airport’s east baggage hall will be demolished to make way for new facilities that will eventually allow passengers to check in their bags well before flights open.

Later this year, the pick-up location for some taxis, ride-sharing services and airport shuttles will move from the western end of the international terminal to a new pick-up area behind the Novotel.

The demolition of the international terminal’s east baggage hall will take place next month to allow for the development of a high-tech baggage handling system that allows real-time tracking of baggage through the airport in tagged carrier trays. with radio frequency identification devices.

Hurihanganui said the system reduces the risk of lost luggage and the storage facility will allow airlines to open check-in all day so passengers don’t have to lug their bags around the terminal. up to three hours before check-in, as currently required.

The removal of the baggage hall will be carried out alongside other work to clear the eastern airfield for the future construction of a new domestic jetty linked to the existing international terminal.

The combined terminal will take five years to complete, and the timing of this work is very much tied to the pace of tourism recovery which was difficult to judge at this stage, Hurihanganui said.

“It could be anywhere between 2024 and 2026.

Future development of a new northern runway, taxi lane and cargo area depends on the revival of international tourism.

LAWRENCE SMITH / Stuff

Future development of a new northern runway, taxi lane and cargo area depends on the revival of international tourism.

“While the pandemic has hit the finances of the aviation sector hard, it has provided us with a unique opportunity to advance work today that does not necessarily have very large dollar values, but which would be potentially difficult. , risky or very disruptive if we waited. until we operate with high passenger volumes.

Before the pandemic, 29 international airlines served Auckland from 43 destinations, and this now stands at 16 airlines and around 31 destinations.

Hurihanganui said building the number of flights depended on the trust of foreign airlines and the ease of travel for potential visitors, and for this reason she wanted the requirement for pre-flight testing to be removed.