Summer operations underway at Auckland Airport
Summer Operations Underway At Auckland Airport
The New Zealand Customs Service, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF), Immigration New Zealand and the Aviation Security Service (Avsec) are working together to ensure that New Zealand’s busiest airport is effectively managed over summer.
Customs’ Group Manager Airports Roger Smith said, “November through to May is traditionally the busiest time for border agencies at airports.
“Looking ahead, we expect that the week leading up to Christmas and the first two weeks in January will be our busiest time. Last year, Customs processed a record 156,000 passengers at Auckland Airport in a single week.
"We ask that international passengers check in early, go through departure promptly and ensure that the appropriate documentation is ready for inspection by Customs officers.
"A reminder that if you are booking connecting flights, it is important to allow for plenty of time in between," said Smith.
Meanwhile, Customs has deployed officers to Auckland Airport to meet this year's northern winter schedule demand.
“There will be extra Customs staff on duty, and more if needed, but passengers can help us do our job by being prepared and getting to the airport early,” said Smith.
Smith said that it is 'business as usual' over summer at Auckland Airport with congestion only likely to become an issue when flights go off-schedule.
"Compared to previous years, we are not anticipating a huge increase in passenger numbers, but, if several flights arrive at once or one flight arrives early at the same time as another is arriving late, a certain amount of congestion will be felt.
“Delays can result from unexpected changes to flight arrivals and we are working closely with other border agencies, BARNZ and Auckland Airport to ensure that any congestion that does occur has only a minimal impact on the passenger experience,” Smith said.
MAF processed a minimum of 12,000 passenger arrivals a day during the busy summer period last year and is expecting similar numbers this year, says Kerri-Ann O'Neill, Acting MAF Auckland International Airport Manager.
“We’ve been gearing up by filling all vacant positions and employing students to assist with additional tasks. All told, MAF will have 200 staff working at the airport.”
MAF asks that passengers declare or dispose of food stuffs and other biosecurity risk items.
“This way, passengers will reduce the chance of delay as well as the possibility of a fine," O'Neill said.
Meanwhile, Avsec is urging departing passengers to think carefully before they pack their bags and hand luggage.
Avsec Chief Operating Officer Chris Tosswill said, “Government directions prohibit sharp objects over 6cm in length in all hand luggage and limit the quantity of liquids, aerosols and gels which can be taken through International departure security screening. Any such items will be seized at the screening point.”
Auckland Airport advises that airline check-in counters will generally open for each international flight three hours ahead of departure time to accommodate the anticipated seasonal increase in passenger volumes.