Auckland Airport launches first phase of massive development program

Source: AKL press release

Yesterday, Auckland Airport (AKL) announced plans to expand its airfield and develop taxiway and remote stands on the space as part as the first stage of its multibillion-dollar infrastructure development program. The infrastructure development is intended support growing operations at the airport. 

Over the next three years, AKL will expand its existing airfield space by converting more than 250,000 square meters of land into new airfield space in the western end of the airport adjacent to the international terminal. The new airfield will be able to accommodate planes with a wingspan of 65 to 80 meters – which includes the 747-8F, with a wingspan of 68.4 meters, and the 777F’s 64.8meter wingspan, as well as large passenger aircraft such as the A380 – and will ultimately increase AKL’s airfield space by 18%.  

Following expansion of the airfield, AKL plans to build an additional taxiway, extend an existing taxiway and create six remote stands for aircraft parking and servicing on the newly developed space. According to the airport, the taxiways will improve aircraft movement around the airfield, and will eventually link the airport’s existing and future second runway. Meanwhile, the remote stands, which will have in-ground jet fuel reticulation, will provide space for layover aircraft to park for several hours between flights. Combined, these projects will create additional airfield capacity that will enable the relocation of existing aircraft activities during later development of a domestic jet terminal. 

AKL named New Zealand construction company CPB Contractors, a subsidiary of Australian CIMIC Group, as the preferred contractor for the project. Ground engineering work on the project is expected to begin mid-2019 with a completion target by late 2021. 

The airfield development project is the first of eight major infrastructure projects at AKL that will commence over the next decade. The complete development program will enable the airport to accommodate the projected increase in aircraft movements at the airport to 260,000 flights per year by 2044, according to AKL general manager of airport development and delivery André Lovatt. 

In 2018, volumes of cargo handled at AKL increased 4.2% year-over-year to 192,405 tonnes. Volumes at the airport continued to increase into January 2019 by 4.0% compared to the same month the year prior. However, growth at the airport slowed in February to a slight increase of 0.3%, before volumes declined in March by 5.3%. Declines in cargo volumes at the airport were likely a result of the U.S. tariffs negatively impacting other AsiaPacific carriers and airports during the same period. The airport currently hosts the operations of DHL, FedEx Express, New Zealand Parcelair, Qantas Freight and Singapore Airlines Cargo.

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