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More to come at Auckland Airport

More to come at Auckland Airport

Today Auckland Airport celebrated the opening of a new arrivals area at the international terminal. The Minister of Customs and Associate Minister of Tourism, Hon. Nanaia Mahuta, officially opened the new area which commenced operation on Monday night.

Invited guests, staff and tangata whenua were treated to an escorted visit into the restricted area ‘airside’ and got a taste of what international visitors and returning kiwis now experience once they have disembarked their flight.

Complete with travelators, stunning views of the Manukau Harbour and close ups of a busy airport, the new arrivals area features iconic and cultural imagery reflecting the journey across the ocean to Aotearoa. There is intuitive signage (in line with global best-practice), fresh contemporary and sustainable architecture, a spacious shopping area and an improved Customs and Immigration experience.

Located to the west of the existing terminal the new area is part of Auckland Airport’s Masterplan 2025 – the company’s development strategy for the future.
“Today has been a milestone event in Auckland Airport’s history and we are especially proud to greet international visitors and kiwis returning home with a fresh contemporary welcome,” says chief executive Don Huse. “This is part of an ongoing project; June will see the completion of the secondary screening area where MAF Biosecurity New Zealand x-ray luggage, and in October we will open stage one of the second pier, Pier B.”

Pier B will initially have two contact gates each with two air bridges for two-door handling of a single large aircraft, and will accommodate the first A380 when it arrives in February next year.

George Hickton, chief executive of Tourism New Zealand, believes that the welcome an international visitor receives when they land in a new country creates a vital first impression which can set the scene for the rest of their visit. “As one of New Zealand’s main ports of entry, Auckland Airport is in the rare and privileged position to make a great first impression for New Zealand and New Zealanders. Tourism New Zealand is delighted by Auckland Airport’s upgrade project, which makes the airport a world-class arrival point. I am particularly pleased to see eye-catching modern architecture combined with New Zealand’s Maori culture and history as part of the welcome our visitors will receive,” says George Hickton.

The first stage of the international arrivals expansion and Pier B have a combined cost of approximately $135 million.
“Auckland Airport is committed to improving the visitor and traveller experience and there is more to come,” says Don Huse. “By 2010 the first floor of the international departures area will be redeveloped. The emigration area will be expanded and in a new location. There will be a greatly improved dining and shopping experience once passengers pass through emigration.”

The next stage of expansion of the arrivals processing facilities, referred to as Stage 3B, will bring the baggage hall, Customs, MAF Biosecurity New Zealand secondary screening area and the arrivals concourse for meeters and greeters up to a newly developed first floor. Located between Piers A and B, the new extension will be at the centre of the international terminal and will extend across the current forecourt roads. This project has a total cost of approximately $200 million over three years.

The development will substantially increase the landside arrivals concourse; improve terminal forecourt roads, traffic management and car parking facilities. Inbound baggage reclaim/carousel capacity will also increase. A wider range of food and beverage offerings, foreign exchange outlets, specialty retail, visitor information services, rental car outlets will also be included in the development. Visitors and travellers will enjoy enhanced way-finding, and much more spacious areas with a distinctive New Zealand flavour.

“Stage 3B was previously planned to be accelerated in time for completion prior to the Rugby World Cup in 2011. However, the company has decided to defer making a decision to proceed with this project for up to 12 months. This period will give us time to see how the existing facilities perform and to better gauge the optimal timing for the next stage of the arrivals expansion. Furthermore, this deferral will allow Auckland Airport to gain greater certainty in relation to the appropriate returns from this very substantial project, given that the regulatory environment for airports in New Zealand is currently being reviewed.

“The company also took into account the fact that the airlines, represented by the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ,) did not support accelerating the project. Finally the company is also cognisant of the current global economic environment and the impact that the ‘credit crunch’ may have on passenger volumes in the short-term.

“Regardless of the outcome of the timing of this project Auckland Airport will be welcoming and well able to accommodate the increase of visitors during the Rugby World Cup” says Don Huse.

A 4-5 star hotel is also planned for the international terminal precinct.

Details of the project can be found at

Background information enclosed. High resolution images available upon request.


Media Background | 03.04.08

New international arrivals area


In early 2006, Auckland Airport announced an expansion of its international terminal to include a new, larger arrivals area.

The expansion is to the west of the existing terminal and includes new space for immigration, quarantine and customs secondary processing, as well as a new arrivals duty free area which is the largest in the Asia-Pacific region.

The new extension takes into account the international terminal’s future direction, including the development of a second pier, which will be further to the west.

Key points to the development
- An increase in the number of immigration ‘primary line’ counters from 32 at present to 44.
- Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) Biosecurity New Zealand x-ray screening positions increased from eight to 12.
- Enlarged New Zealand Customs Service ‘secondary’ screening area.
- Expansion of the arrivals duty free selection - this space has almost doubled.
- Increased space for coach, taxi and shuttle area to the west of the terminal.
- The helipad has been upgraded with lighting to enable night flights.

When did construction commence?

July 2006

Why has the arrivals area been expanded?

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 and so Auckland Airport has taken the opportunity to build a new facility.

In addition, since the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Great Britain, there has been renewed focus on quarantine for passengers entering New Zealand. This has included a move to 100 per cent x-ray screening of bags by MAF as people arrive in the country. This, along with increasing passenger numbers at peak times, has produced congestion in the ‘secondary screening’ portion of the arrivals process which will be alleviated by the planned development work.

In the last year, Auckland Airport has launched a new visual identity and vision. Its introduction represents the first step in a process of enhancing Auckland Airport’s brand and customer experience. Behind the logo is a vision to represent our country and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a world-leading tourism destination. The new arrivals area has been designed with this vision in mind and three core values underpin this strategy – to be outstanding, uniquely kiwi and welcoming.

How does the arrivals area fit within the Airport’s Masterplan 2025?

Auckland Airport’s Masterplan 2025 is the airport’s growth strategy for the future. It builds on the comprehensive planning carried out in the past and uses the latest data and forecasting to determine where the airport is heading in the next 20 years… and beyond.

Currently nearly 13 million people pass through Auckland Airport every year, 7 million of these are international travellers Auckland Airport is forecasting 24 million travellers will be using the airport by 2025. This expansion is preparing for this growth in passenger numbers.

Who will use it?

All international travellers arriving in New Zealand will experience the new arrivals area; international visitors to our country and people returning home from travel abroad.

How much did it cost?

The investment in the expansion of the international terminal is approximately $135 million. This includes the new arrivals area and the new pier, which is scheduled to open in October 2008.

How was it funded?

The project was funded from retained cashflows, including the airport development charge and retail income plus additional borrowings.

When did the arrivals area actually open?

The new wing opened for business at midnight on Tuesday, 1 April 2008. Minister of Customs and Associate Minister of Tourism Hon. Nanaia Mahuta officially opened the space at 10am on Thursday 3 April 2008.

Why is there only one duty free retailer in the new area?

In May 2007 Auckland Airport called for tenders for the operation of a single on-airport duty free business until June 2015. The participants were its existing duty free retailers, The Nuance Group (trading as Regency Duty Free) and the DFS Group. DFS Group was the successful tenderer.

Single operator duty free environments are the most common model used around the world. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Singapore, Hong Kong and Christchurch airports all operate the single duty free business model.

The single operator model significantly enhances the airport retail experience and makes the duty free offering more attractive to travellers. In particular, travellers are offered a much broader variety of products and more product choice within product categories. This can be achieved by using the terminal space more efficiently and avoiding duplication of products. The new arrivals DFS store stocks a much wider variety of goods than what has previously been available at the airport.

What competition does DFS face?

Consumers have a lot of choice when it comes to duty free shopping. Independent research tells us that travellers compare on-airport duty free prices to local ‘High Street’ prices, online shopping, parallel import retailers, off-airport and airline duty free as well as other international airports and overseas retailers.

A key factor in duty free shopping is price – that is why we, along with DFS, are so committed to price comparisons. A strong price comparison procedure across product ranges is at the core of the new licence. These price comparisons are intended to ensure duty free goods sold at Auckland Airport are at competitive prices and travellers can be assured of getting great value for money.

What makes the duty free store so special?

The New Zealand team at DFS Galleria has made a special effort to provide a world-class retail experience with a distinctive kiwi flavour. The store is the second largest arrivals duty free store in the world and sells the world’s leading luxury brands at the region’s most competitive prices.

Are there any environmental features to the new building?

Yes there are. The main ’green’ initiatives include solar panels, solar water heating and a rainwater collection system.

The roof of the arrivals area is the home to the largest photovoltaic (PV) solar display in New Zealand. A 300m2 solar panel installed on the roof of the arrivals area converts the sun’s energy directly into electrical energy. The solar energy is used to power the arrivals corridor lights during the day, providing an estimated energy generation of 49,500 kWhr per year. This is equal to approximately three to four households’ yearly energy use!

Five solar water heating panels are also installed on the roof that capture solar energy for pre-heating water in the hot water system. This solar energy services the public toilets on the first floor of the new arrivals area and is estimated to generate energy savings of approximately 15,000 kWhr per year.

Six 25m3 storage tanks have been installed to store rainwater for use in the building’s largest water user – the air-conditioning cooling towers.

The building also incorporates the following sustainable systems:
- high efficiency chillers for air-conditioning
- condensing boilers that reclaim heat from the duct
- enhanced insulation levels
- low energy lighting systems
- making the best use of natural light with large windows looking out to sea
- low energy wayfinding signage

What does the Maori inscription in the carpet mean?

“Nau mai, haere mai ki te paepaeroa o Paorae”

The carpet was designed by interior designer Adrian Nancekivell in conjunction with local Tainui representative from Tamaki Makaurau Marae architect Saul Roberts. The local iwi interpretation of this message translates as “Auckland Airport and the people of Paorae welcome you.” Paorae refers to the face of the land surrounding the Manukau Harbour. This inscription is very symbolic for the local iwi as it is traditional for them to welcome all new visitors to their land.

The subtle Maori pattern woven into the carpet at the Customs and Immigration area depicts contemporary and approved designs from the local marae. As travellers step over the threshold at Customs they will step onto a carpet pattern which is very similar to the tukutuku panels at the local marae.

Where did all the scenic imagery come from?

The beautiful photographs adorning the walls of the walkway were sourced from Te Papa Tongarewa’s collection.

What is the next big project to be completed at Auckland Airport’s international terminal?

In June the Customs screening and MAF Biosecurity New Zealand secondary screening process will expand into the area that is currently used by the immigration primary line. The x-ray screening positions will increase from eight to 12 and there will be an enlarged Customs secondary screening area.

In October this year we will be opening stage 1 of the new pier - Pier B. This will connect with the expanded arrivals area and the existing departure area. The new pier will ultimately have 12 gates. However, the first stage of the pier will only have two gates. These two gates will have two airbridges, capable of accessing the upper and lower decks of the new Airbus A380 aircraft or servicing four smaller aircraft at one time.

When is the Airbus A380 coming to New Zealand?

In early March this year international carrier Emirates announced that it will be bringing the first A380 into Auckland on 1 February 2009 for a new daily service from Dubai to Auckland, via Sydney. Auckland is the only airport in New Zealand capable of handling the A380 and we are looking forward to welcoming the first Emirates flight.

Fast facts

Old arrivals area / New arrivals area
Arrivals area - 14,398m2 / Arrivals area – 23,593m2
Duty free store area - 888m2 / Duty free store area – 1,618m2
32 passport control counters / 44 passport control counters
8 x-ray screening positions / 12 x-ray screening positions
Secondary screening area - 1,380m2 / Secondary screening area - 2,837m2
No travelators / 80m of travelators
No solar panels / 300 m2 of solar panels
No solar water heating / 10m2 of water heating panels
No rainwater storage tanks / 6 x 25m3 rainwater storage tanks

Interesting statistics

- The duty free store is the second largest arrivals duty free store in the world. The largest is in Brazil which is just 50m2 bigger.
- The duty free product categories have increased from five (beauty, liquor, electronics, tobacco & food) to seven, now including sunglasses and watches.

- On an average day there have been 300 people working at the construction site, at peaks this has been up to 350 people. In February the construction crew recorded 58,000 people hours.
- There is 4km of piles underneath the new area.
- Largest single travelator in New Zealand.
- The engineers have considered biometric technology when designing the area and have made accommodation for this future technology.
- Largest grid connected photovoltaic solar panel installation in New Zealand. This installation won an award at the inaugural SEANZ PV Solar Awards last year for the largest single site PV installation contracted in 2007.
- The area is future proofed – it has been designed for future growth and can be expanded to the west and another level added.
- Half a kilometre of service crawlways in the ceiling space for maintenance access.
- The walking distance from the end of Pier A to the end of Pier B is 785m, this equates to almost twice around an athletic field, and is the same length as the cable car in Wellington.
- The main runway has been widened by 15m (7.5m either side) to accommodate the A380 wingspan.

Who were the contractors behind the construction?
- Engineering was completed by Beca Carter Hollings & Ferner Ltd.
- Architects were Stephenson & Turner.
- Construction completed by Hawkins Construction.
- Interior designer, Adrian Nancekivell Design AND.


Auckland Airport is pivotal to New Zealand’s tourism industry and export economy. It has come a very long way in the 40 years since it began operations and there is still a long way to go. The next 20 years and beyond will be a period of strong, sustainable, well-planned growth for the airport. This will benefit both the Auckland region and the wider New Zealand economy. The new arrivals area is a critically important part of Auckland Airport’s development strategy for the future.

Where can more information be found?

To find out more about Auckland Airport’s Masterplan 2025 and the new arrivals area visit


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