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Auckland Airport welcomes further investment

21 September 2004

Auckland Airport welcomes further Customs and MAF investment

Auckland International Airport Limited (AIAL) today warmly welcomed the Government move to provide more Customs and MAF resources at Auckland Airport.

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced funding for 96 extra Customs staff, as well as 17 new MAF staff and new x-ray equipment at Auckland Airport.

AIAL chief executive officer, Don Huse, said that it was a very important step in the wider process of providing services for the growth in passenger numbers coming through Auckland International Airport. "Significantly, it underscores the Government's commitment to New Zealand's tourism industry and complements major improvements already underway.

"AIAL has recently announced developments in both the departures and arrivals areas which come on top of extensive construction occurring throughout the international terminal."

Two of the projects currently underway at the airport include; an increase in the number of Customs and Aviation Security counters and their realignment in the departure area; and an increase in immigration counters on arrival from 25 to 32 as well as expanded space for MAF and Customs operations.

The airport company has also recently agreed with the New Zealand Immigration Service to provide the agency with expanded office space.

Don Huse said that the latest terminal changes have occurred after some months of careful planning with the Government agencies involved, "Tourism is our country's number one industry and growing rapidly. It is encouraging that the Government continues to promote a high quality experience and is working with tourism service providers such as Auckland International Airport.

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"We are where New Zealand touches the world, this move by Government ensures that the entry point for 70 per cent of visitors to New Zealand keeps up with the growth in the tourism industry."

"The changes that we are undertaking will allow for faster passenger processing and the ability to handle the greater number of passengers using Auckland International Airport," Huse commented, "they will provide an enduring welcome to and farewell from New Zealand. These developments are important for both the future of the tourism industry in this country and of course Auckland International Airport."

Auckland International Airport has recently announced that in the year ended June 2004, it processed 10,757,506 passengers, an increase of more than 14 per cent on the previous year.

The construction work in the arrivals and departures areas comes on top of a raft of developments occurring at Auckland International Airport. The airport is constructing 12 new check-in counters, adding new aircraft hard stand areas capable of fully-servicing either four B747-sized or six mid-sized aircraft, adding a second level to the international pier in order to fully separate arriving and departing passengers and implementing a 100 per cent hold stowed baggage screening programme. The total cost for these projects over the next three years is estimated at $375 million.

To keep the travelling public informed of developments, a website has been established: www.buildingnewzealandsgateway.com will feature regular updates on construction activity and details of the projects being undertaken.

ENDS

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