Auckland Airport Opens its New Transport Hub

Render of Auckland Airport new Transport Hub and Terminal Facility.
Image Credit: Auckland Airport

Auckland Airport’s international terminal transport system is set for the biggest change in its history. Next week will see the opening of the new Transport Hub ground floor, set for Wednesday 3 April.

The upgrade forms part of the New Zealand airport’s transformation plan. This marks the biggest change to the international terminal’s transport system in nearly 50 years.

The broader plan will be the biggest redevelopment in the history of Auckland Airport since its first opening in 1966.

This modern facility boasts over 320 meters of undercover kerbside drop-off and pick-up space, doubling what was previously available.

The new Transport Hub delivers a smoother and more efficient experience for travelers using public transport, scheduled buses, taxis, rideshares, shuttles, or those being dropped off by loved ones.

A Welcoming Arrival Experience

The expansive 14,000 square meter ground floor features dedicated lanes for public and commercial traffic, ensuring a well-organized flow. Sustainability is also a key focus.

The adjoining office spaces, under construction and targeting a 5-Star Green rating. They will benefit from a 1.2-megawatt rooftop solar array, significantly reducing reliance on the grid.

Additionally, electric vehicle charging stations will be available in the car park levels opening later this year.

“The Transport Hub is designed to create a more welcoming and efficient arrival and departure experience for international travelers, and in the future, for domestic travelers using the new integrated terminal,” says Auckland Airport Chief Executive, Carrie Hurihanganui.

The new facility boasts a capacity of handling 650 vehicles per hour during peak periods. This will integrate with the upcoming domestic terminal and future mass rapid transit systems.

Landscapers relocated mature pōhutukawa trees from surrounding areas, creating walkways featuring native plantings. These create a unique sense of place that reflects Aotearoa New Zealand’s natural beauty.

Furthermore, five 25,000-liter rainwater tanks will provide non-potable water for the Transport Hub and office building, promoting environmental responsibility.

Celebrating Timely Completion

“We’re incredibly excited to unveil the first stage of the Transport Hub less than two years after construction began,” says Ms. Hurihanganui.

“This project presented a unique opportunity to minimize disruption while international travel recovered post-pandemic.”

She acknowledges the temporary inconvenience caused by reduced car parking availability during construction. Ms. Hurihanganui went on to express gratitude for the public’s patience and understanding.

Transforming the Terminal’s “Front Door”

The opening of the Transport Hub coincides with the closure of the current international terminal’s drop-off and pick-up area. This paves the way for extensive preparatory work (“enabling works”) for the new domestic terminal.

“The upgrade to the international terminal’s ‘front door’ will be a significant change for travelers,” says Ms. Hurihanganui.

“To facilitate the integration of the new domestic terminal, we’ll be closing the inner terminal road in front of the building.”

The long-term plan includes reinstating a two-lane inner terminal road with public transport priority access. This will further enhance public transport drop-off and pick-up capacity within the Transport Hub.

A Modern and Functional Arrival Area

The new design prioritizes pedestrian comfort with wide covered walkways, ample space for luggage and families, designated pedestrian crossings, and plenty of seating.

To achieve a more modern aesthetic, the airport will retire the iconic large sails that have adorned the terminal since the early 1990s.

Building for the Future

Essential work on utilities beneath the terminal area, including water, stormwater, sewage, power, and telecommunications, will be undertaken over the next two years.

These upgrades are crucial to ensure the airport’s infrastructure remains fit-for-purpose for the next 50 years and can accommodate the demands of the new domestic terminal.

 Pedestrian access will be maintained throughout construction with designated crossing points at arrivals and departures.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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