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Auckland's Airport Terminal To Be Expanded

Auckland's Airport Terminal To Be Expanded

Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) today announced an expansion of its international terminal which will incorporate a large increase in arrivals passenger border processing capacity. The project, which will cost in the order of $100 million, is expected to be complete by December 2007.

At today's interim results announcement, airport chief executive Don Huse said that construction is set to commence in the next month, "The international terminal will be expanded to the west, with an increase in the arrivals border processing capacity and incorporating a new arrivals duty-free area.

"The position of the new extension was determined as part of an extensive international terminal planning study that has taken place over the past two years. It takes into account the international terminal's future direction, including the development of a second pier, which will be further to the west.

The move will increase the number of immigration 'primary line' counters from 32 at present to 44 once complete. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) x-ray screening positions will increase from eight at present to 12 and the New Zealand Customs Service 'secondary' screening area will be enlarged. The development also allows for the expansion of the arrivals duty free selection. This is a popular way for particularly New Zealand travellers to purchase their duty free goods.

"The planning for the international terminal incorporates the masterplan review work that has been undertaken at the same time, to confirm a clear direction for the development of the airport."

The arrivals retail space will almost double and arriving passengers will move from the current pier along a walkway with views over the airfield and Manukau Harbour, to the new shopping area.

"The arrivals process has been experiencing significant congestion at peak periods in the past few years. While the airport company expanded the area and increased the number of immigration counters in the 2004/05 summer, the growth in passengers has meant that this was an interim measure. There is no more room to expand within the existing space, so AIAL has taken this option to develop towards the further expansion area of the terminal."

The airport worked closely with airlines, government border agencies and other stakeholders to design and plan developments such as the new arrivals processing area.

The airport company says that the project will be primarily funded from the extra $5 in the airport development charge retained last year after the CAA and Aviation Security levies were deleted from the departure fee, and additional retail income.

The construction will also alter the shape of the coach, taxi and shuttle area to the west of the terminal, as well as increase it in size to better cater for the growing demand. These will shift to an area clear of the construction site. The helipad will also be relocated and upgraded with lighting to enable night flights.

ENDS

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