Traffic chaos around and at Auckland Airport has forced the company and transport authorities to take urgent steps to help traffic flow and ease congestion, which has led to some passengers missing flights.

Here's an edited sample of travellers' stories - most are worried about what's happening (or not happening) - on roads around the airport, while others complain of processing delays as the summer squeeze starts.

"It beggars belief"

Airport congestion is getting progressively worse. I travel weekly through the domestic terminal and I now book my flights returning mid afternoon at the latest. This is to avoid the congestion at the airport and that is an inconvenience.

It beggars belief that an international airport, and let's not forget, our county's largest airport, has only two options for exiting, and virtual goat tracks at that, considering what is on offer in countries.

Advertisement

The airport company is clearly not doing its homework when developing the commercial land as it is with current traffic flows and passenger growth.

I for one, would use a train if I had a direct option (I commute daily to the CBD on train) and many more would as parking had become almost extortionate.

- Matthew Hill

Making money out of car parks

This has been coming for years.

The airport company makes a lot of money out of car parks. The council has shares in the airport company so benefits too. I have worked at the airport for 31 years. It affects me. I use the Skybus to get there.

That service has been shafted by the council under the fallacious argument that there is no room to park near the ferry terminal. There is plenty of room. But now users have to go in the "shuttle'' - actually a full size bus - to half way up Queen Street.

The circuitous route adds time and actually discourages people from using public transport.

- John Clark

Company needs reining in

There are major daily traffic issues in and around the airport precinct. Auckland Airport has lost its primary focus and needs reining in.

The airport, while needing an income, appears to have lost its way with regards to what should be the company's primary focus - moving travellers in and out.

We see all manner of business space, office space and retail space continuing to be built and jammed into the limited land space on the airport peninsula.

Under current roading infrastructure, anything unrelated to the movement of passengers or airfreight has no business being placed anywhere near the critical routes in and out of the airport actual, especially in their current state of being unable to cope.

- Richard Bloemendal

Train service needed now

They need to be more realistic about a total-package response to the very serious situation confronting them (and the public who travel to and from the airport ).

A truly 21st century major airport should surely be serviced by frequent electric train or fast-tram services. Convoys of buses are inevitable if rail is ignored as an option - and even those convoys will be a temporary fix as passenger numbers increase and local industry workforce burgeons.

A six or even eight-lane motorway will be required at the rate things are going! Huge multi-storey parking buildings will also be needed. The train lines should be installed as soon as possible, not in 10 years' time.

- Eardley Dijkstra

Lane changes making things worse

I've been caught up in the traffic chaos at the domestic terminal and there doesn't seem to be any mention of the fairly recent lane changes that have caused the congestion.

If you observe the flow, you will note there is a dedicated bus lane that hardly has any buses in it, there are a couple of taxi lanes and there is a single lane for drop-offs/pickups with parking on either side ... and that has an uncontrolled pedestrian crossing. That is the heart of the problem.

The traffic simply cannot flow and backs up around the corner. The solution is to allow more cars to flow through by opening more lanes to them.

- Robert Hill

Getting to work is hell

Travel to and from work is a nightmare.

As an airport worker it can take 45 minutes to get to Mount Roskill. Getting to work for night shift is hell, too. Main issues are the road south out of the airport causing a backlog of traffic to impact on all traffic trying to get in!

Add the dreadful layout of the domestic drop-off traffic and it's terrible. Auckland just cannot cope with this kind of load.

BUILD A MONORAIL TO THE CITY!!

- A worker with no public transport to get to work

Sydney is a breeze

I simply do not understand why Auckland seems to be the only big city in the world that has no rail or light rail or at least tram connection from the airport into the city.

Even on the worst day, getting from the airport into the city in Sydney is a breeze.

In Auckland, not just for that area, the authorities seem to concentrate solely on roads, with a population increase of many more thousands of people the city needs a solution that is not roads and it needs to be backed by the government as the city itself can't pay for it.

These short-sighted measures might help for this year - but what about 10 or 20 years from now? Ridiculous.

- Rita Baker

Just window dressing

It seems to me the task force, the mayor and others are missing a key point.

No matter what is done to the approach roads, no matter how many lanes, no matter what the phasing of the lights might be changed to, there is one, inescapable bottleneck.

There is only one lane from the last roundabout to the domestic terminal.

And there is no space to make any more lanes. That last 100 metres makes a total mockery of any changes made further up the traffic stream until this final approach is radically improved the delays must continue. The rest is just window dressing.

- John Fawcett

Trains passed Auckland Airport by

This is the main reason many airports around the world have extensive rail linkages. Some airports are served by up to 32 train connections, offering a seating capacity of 18,000 people each hour. Apparently this kind of development passed Auckland Airport.

- Peter Minten

The Whenuapai option

Why does it take so long for this to be realised? Whenuapai has to be seriously considered as an alternative to share the increasing numbers of passengers.

Years ago the Mayor of Waitakere City, Bob Harvey strongly advocated for this and it's timely to revisit this possibility.

- John McNicholas

Productivity in Auckland falling

I'm a frequent traveller from Brisbane and also domestically from Wellington to Auckland. I've found traffic to the airport is getting progressively worse, especially the last six months. I'm damn sure that your politicians must see this?

I was caught in this traffic only yesterday, but am getting used to it and allow an extra hour now. My productivity while in Auckland is growing less by the visit.

- AJ Singh

Too little too late

There are those of us who have been warning about traffic disasters around Auckland airport for three to four years now but, as usual in Auckland, nobody does anything until it is too late. And when they do something, it is usually too little when it is finally built.

The airport roads around the terminal are too small, narrow and inadequate for the volume of traffic. The motorway in is used as a backway into Auckland and is amok with trucks and industrial vehicles. A bypass from Kirkbride or at the latest Verissimo Dr has been desperately needed for some years now.

But as usual it's too late and when it comes too narrow, small and cheap - the private owners of the airport need to contribute some of their profit to this plan.

- K Menzies

'Talk about third world. It's really appalling'

We returned on a flight from Melbourne on November 21. We couldn't get to our luggage off the carousels to then get back to get in the queues, because the number of people waiting to be processed was five lanes thick and backed up to the entrance. There was no aircon and there were about five people processing people. What is that all about?

We were in non-moving queues for two hours, standing, in the heat. This was inhumane. I have been travelling regularly overseas and returning for 17 years and the Auckland Airport arrivals is the same. I have seen no improvement in processing people.

Talk about third world. It's really appalling. It's pointless allowing extra time when you have this bottleneck. Wonder how many missed connecting flights.

- Anon

The toilets are smelly

I think all of New Zealand's main airports are more into fleecing for parking than providing any service. The toilets at Auckland, near where you come off a domestic flight, are unsanitary and smell bad.

They should use the people who stand around sending you to overpriced parking to assist the two or three overworked security lanes. Also they need more Mandarin speakers at security.

- Anon

'One of my favourite third-world airports'

I use the airport frequently for business trips overseas. It's one of my favourite third-world airports. Who knew that summer happens each year? Not these jokers obviously.

(Typed as I once again lose another hour of my life queuing in this hellhole).

- Pete

The seven baggage belts were excellent

Arrived from Hawaii Nov 30, parked on the tarmac, bused to the terminal.

Once the bus was full, passengers were held on the plane until the next bus arrived. It was 20 minutes until we exited the plane.

There were four to five recent inbound flights and, as always, fast gate is always superb. The agricultural clearance? What a disgrace. There were four lines. It looks like we drew the slow one because it took 45 minutes to pass through.

Yes, we now have seven baggage belts which is excellent, however that is negated by the choke point at ag inspection. There is just not enough space for MPI staff to clear large numbers. The airport has been caught out with their planning and pants down!

- Myles Treacher