Auckland Airport is building space for passengers to chill out and sort out their belongings after passing through security screening.

The area is designed for passengers to "recompose" themselves as part of a major redevelopment that will cost up to $180 million.

There will be seats and space for passengers to repack their cabin baggage or put on shoes, belts and any other items of clothing they removed for screening.

The 640sq m area will also have flight information displays and toilet facilities.


Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said the aim was to help passengers relax after what can be a stressful part of their journey.

"We want a generous space there, so people can get through that process and say 'right, I'm ready for the next stage'. It just means they're less anxious about their flight."

The security area would be expanded to cut delays and allow for new technology, such as body scanners if they are introduced to New Zealand.

As part of the redevelopment - announced ahead of the airport's 50th anniversary next week - the departure lounge is being remodelled and expanded.

Shopping and dining areas will also be expanded in what Littlewood says is one of the biggest projects since construction of the airport runway and terminal buildings.

Work started before Christmas and the entire project should be finished by early 2018.

On Thursday a building worker damaged the sprinkler system, leading to flooding in the arrivals area.

Littlewood said construction was complex in a working airport, especially given most of the international terminal was nearly 40 years old.