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New investment expands airport facilities

New investment expands facilities and increases security at Auckland Airport

New investment projects at Auckland International Airport have expanded facilities and increased security for airlines and passengers.

Substantial investment in new facilities across the airport has bought many benefits for airport customers, some immediately obvious and enhancing security, others behind the scenes.

“We have successfully designed, built and commissioned a new level on the international pier; meaning arriving and departing passengers are now separated, helping improve security at the terminal,” said chief executive Don Huse.

An important security project completed in the past year has been the opening of a new baggage screening facility, which means all baggage being put on international aircraft at Auckland is thoroughly screened.

"The discovery in the UK of planning for an in-air detonation of aircraft between the US and the UK brought home yet again how vital it is for international airports to have strong security measures in place, and for staff of the relevant agencies to be able to co-operate immediately and smoothly on implementing extra security," Mr Huse said.

That co-operative capability saw a special screening area built at the airport in less than three hours to process passengers on flights to the US who were subject to extra security restrictions.

“It was a great team effort across airlines, border agencies and the airport company that resulted in minimal disruption,” Mr Huse said.

“Auckland Airport is very focused, in conjunction with airlines, joint border agencies and relevant authorities, on delivering a service which is as normal as possible, but one in which security is fully maintained.”

Not all of Auckland Airport’s investment has been in the security area though, with a new multi-level car parking building opening earlier this year at the domestic terminal. New international terminal shopping and food and beverage facilities have also opened. The company also recently completed the final rehabilitation of the main runway and widening to facilitate the A380. The project was undertaken over a four year period at a total cost of $37 million.

“Work is underway to fully renovate the Air New Zealand domestic terminal in conjunction with our key customer, Air New Zealand,” Mr Huse said.

Renovation of the domestic terminal will also include the development of a new retail precinct. There will also be further expansion of the international terminal.

The company’s 20 year masterplan was released earlier this year. This provides a roadmap for the sustainable development of Auckland Airport through to 2025. Planning is also underway to construct a second runway, the first stage of which is expected to be operational in 2010 or 2011.

Another development has been the start of the five yearly aeronautical pricing reset, where new charges are negotiated with airline customers. These will apply from 1 September 2007.

“We are keen to continue to have a positive and constructive engagement with our airline partners. The aim is to reach a negotiated outcome which recognises the interests of both parties and our joint responsibilities to the travelling public,” said chief executive Don Huse.

“In the case of our most important airline partner, Air New Zealand, we are particularly keen to proceed with the negotiations in the same spirit of partnership that so successfully delivered agreement on the new domestic terminal development.

“Air New Zealand has, over the past few years, embarked on an impressive programme of renewal and improvement, with large investments in new aircraft, new uniforms and a new look.

“Auckland International Airport is part of the journey for many of Air New Zealand’s travellers. We are also continuously improving and investing in our facilities to provide passengers with a safe and secure, efficient and enjoyable travel experience.”

The company also announced today its intention to proceed with the new Pier B at the international terminal, subject to final agreement on pricing. The new pier will provide two additional contact gates, reduce bussing operations, and provide dual airbridge boarding of larger aircraft, such as the A380. The total cost is estimated to be $50 million, with completion in the middle of 2008. Returns on this investment will come from the airport development charge and the terminal services charge.

AIAL chairman Wayne Boyd commented, “The company has continued to establish the platform for the next stage of its growth. New investments have been completed and more are underway to meet customer requirements, to assist airlines grow their businesses, and to promote New Zealand as a premier tourism destination.

“That said, the company has refined its capital expenditure programme to match the demand environment and to ensure that appropriate returns are achieved. There is a number of exciting retail and property developments underway. These will be strongly value accretive, with contributions to revenues starting over the next two financial years.”

Ends


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