New domestic terminal set for Auckland Airport

New domestic terminal set for Auckland Airport

The future is uncertain for Auckland's domestic terminal with a new one set to be built alongside the international terminal.

It comes as part of a $1.8b infrastructure investment announced by the airport on Thursday morning, which includes upgraded facilities and a new runway.

Auckland Airport Chief Executive Adrian Littlewood told Newshub there's a "reasonable chance" at least part of the existing building will be demolished to make way for some of the changes.

"That's still to be decided as part of a longer term plan. Part of it could still be utilised for cargo purposes."

By 2022 the new building will host all domestic jet flights, and eventually will become the terminal for all regional flights.

It will cut out the current ten minute walk or shuttle ride to the international terminal for connecting passengers.

Auckland Airport will pay for the changes through extra charges, which the Board of Airlines Representatives of New Zealand (BARNZ) criticises.

"The aeronautical revenue is around $65million more over five years than it should reasonably be," says executive director John Beckett.

"The airport company has not demonstrated that consumers will benefit from paying these high prices. These prices will only benefit AIA's shareholders.

But Mr Littlewood says BARNZ has been involved with talks for years and is "disappointed" with their negative reaction.

"The board is being a little bit selective over how they judge that criticism. Overall they've supported the change."

Mr Littlewood says Auckland Airport was already spending $1m a day in aeronautical infrastructure, and overall passenger fares will actually drop by 1.8 percent over the next five years.

"If you think about spending $1.8b over five years and passenger price is flat, that's a pretty reasonable outcome."

There's been a 26 percent boom in passenger number in the last three years, which Mr Littlewood says no-one in the industry was prepared for. The number of international airlines has increased by 61 percent in the past 22 months.

"It's an exciting time and reflects the benefits of tourism. It's going to create hundreds of jobs."