Auckland International Airport Arrivals Hall Hero

Auckland International Airport Arrivals Hall: Creating a great first impression of New Zealand

Auckland International Airport Ltd (AIAL) planned a series of terminal expansion projects to help it meet the logistical challenge of rapid growth in the numbers of international passengers coming to New Zealand via Auckland.

With 15.3 million travellers expected to use the international terminal in 2025 (compared to 6.8 million in 2008), the new arrivals hall needed to be substantially reconfigured and to grow if it was to continue to operate efficiently and effectively into the future.

Auckland International Airport Ltd’s (AIAL’s) aims:

  • To prepare for the future growth in passenger numbers and relieve pressure on the existing facilities as the security requirements for border agencies such as MAF and NZ Customs continue to increase.
  • To deliver a fantastic airport experience by capturing the essence of what makes us uniquely Kiwi and to create a great first impression for New Zealand and New Zealanders.

What we did:

As lead contractor, we renovated and expanded the existing arrivals hall while the airport was fully operational.

This included:

  • Increasing the number of arrivals desks in the new hall from 26 to 42
  • Linking the existing Pier A and the new Pier B building to the new arrivals area via corridors complete with travelators. The departures corridor, from Pier A to Pier B, is constructed over the arrivals corridor and it also has travelators to aid the speed of passenger movement
  • Expanding and improving the retail area, which is adjacent to the new hall. It was designed to allow the tenancy mix to change over time. Its position means all international arriving passengers visit the retail area immediately prior to entering passport control. At the time of completion it was the second largest airport arrivals retail store in the world.
  • Building a “third level” on the main arrivals hall, which is temporarily roofed. The floor will be developed as part of the next expansion phase of the terminal.

Unique challenges:

  • In order to avoid disturbing sensitive in-ground services (such as aviation fuel lines and 11kV power feeds), we used steel “screw-in” piles as an alternative to driven piles. Six 20mm long screw-in piles were installed beneath an operating baggage conveyor with only around 3 metres head height available.
  • The airport was a live environment, our team had to manage the passengers making sure they were not impacting on their experience during construction. Health & Safety was crucial on the project due to the location and nature of the construction zone, we had to make sure our team and the public, who were using the hall, were safe at all times.

The outcome:

Arriving passengers at Auckland International Airport get a brand new welcome experience. From the moment they disembark their aircraft their Kiwi experience begins.

As they walk through the new building they see large imagery of New Zealand’s natural beauty and history, which reflects the journey from sea to land. The sound of native birds can be heard. Visitors pass beneath Maori artwork and walk along a glass-veiled walkway where they can absorb the views of the Manukau harbour and the bustling airport. The arrivals experience captures the essence of what makes us uniquely Kiwi.

AIAL now have a first-class arrivals hall that will serve their needs well into the future.