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New Look For Auckland Airport

New Look For Auckland Airport

People flying through Auckland's domestic terminal will soon be greeted with floor-to-ceiling windows along the front of the terminal and more spacious interiors. The domestic terminal facilities at Auckland Airport are to be extensively upgraded and expanded as part of a $42m makeover to be undertaken jointly by Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) and its main tenant Air New Zealand.

The upgrade will involve the creation of a single unified and expanded terminal with the construction of a new retail precinct linking the two existing domestic terminals. Other key changes include: an expansion of the provincial airline gate lounge; expansion of the check-in area; higher ceilings and wide open spaces; larger windows along the front of the building; expanded security screening points; and a large number of aesthetic alterations.

Auckland Airport chief executive Don Huse says that the alterations would be significant, "We will be expanding and upgrading the terminal to become a fitting gateway to the rest of New Zealand and provide the services that passengers need in a relaxing and more spacious environment."

Air New Zealand group general manager marketing, network and sales Norm Thompson says that passengers will notice a huge difference in the look and feel of the terminal once it is completed. "These improvements will bring the look and feel of the terminal right up to date; reflecting Air New Zealand's own refreshed branding and creating a bright, open and roomy environment for our domestic customers."

Auckland Airport's masterplan review, which took place over the past two years and was recently released, gave more certainty to the timeframes for development of a new domestic terminal to the north of the current international terminal. Mr Huse says, "The new terminal is at least 10 years away. This more certain time horizon provides the investment confidence necessary for Auckland Airport and Air New Zealand to give the current facility the upgrade it needs."

Mr Thompson says that the eastern end of the building used for provincial flights will be upgraded as well, "We are expanding this end of the terminal space by 1800 square metres to create a new gate lounge area for regional flights. Passengers on these flights will also no longer have to use the existing baggage claim facilities, with their own dedicated baggage claim area being built."

In the check-in area, some of the mezzanine floor will be taken away, creating double-height ceilings which will lead to a more spacious feel to the terminal.

An exciting new retail area will be built linking the two terminals and creating a relaxing environment and a wider range of shops and services for passengers. This area will add another 2200 square metres of retail space and is expected to include a bookstore, bank, florist and other stores. Also included is a wide range of food and beverage outlets such as a bar, cafes and a fast food outlet.

This project is the latest in a series of works to be undertaken within the domestic terminal precinct, including new multi-level car parks and significant road engineering to provide a safe and more user-friendly environment.

The construction cost of $42m will be shared between Air New Zealand ($13m) and AIAL ($29m, which includes $11m for construction of the new retail precinct). AIAL's returns on this investment will be derived from additional rental, aeronautical charges and retail income. Construction on the project will commence in May, the retail area will be finished January 2007. The entire project is expected to be complete December 2007.


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