Air travellers should give themselves plenty of time to catch their flights today during what is expected to be the busiest weekend of the year, says Auckland Airport.
The airport has been plagued by heavy traffic congestion on the surrounding roading network and difficulties resulting from a major upgrade of the international departures area.
Passengers have complained of long waiting times getting through the airport, one saying bio-security lines recently stretched 100m. Along with workers in the area, numerous passengers have been caught in road traffic gridlock at peak times.
Today is expected to be one of the airport's busiest days of the year and it is advising travellers to give themselves plenty of time.
It urged people to book a car park online well ahead of time; ensure they met luggage requirements before getting to the airport; and complete international departure card before reaching Customs.
The airport last month set up a task force with the NZ Transport Agency to improve travel times and congestion around the airport. The task force has also been reviewing the timing of other planned roading projects to try and improve the performance of the transport network and an airport spokeswoman said it was beginning to have a positive impact.
"We have been busy throughout the holiday period and the work the airport did ... has definitely helped with the congestion issues we were experiencing prior to Christmas and will also help over the coming weeks as people return to work and their normal routines," the spokeswoman said.
The airport is handling some 150 flights a day as inbound tourism and travel by Kiwis booms. Three new airlines are due to begin services during the next two months and current carriers are boosting capacity to meet surging demand.
Up to 30,000 passengers a day have been using Auckland Airport's international terminal this summer, up 15 per cent on last year.
Auckland Airport's advice to passengers on the busiest weekend of the year:
• Ensuring any liquid, aerosol and gel containers in hand luggage are not larger than 100ml, and are all placed in one re-sealable, transparent plastic bag (20cm x 20cm or smaller) and put in an easily accessible location;
• Ask the person who is picking them up to park in The Wait Zone, until they receive a text or phone call saying you are ready for collection; and
• Check the Auckland Airport website and app for the latest flight and travel information.