Auckland Airport says its new $350 million arrivals area will be finished in three years but is speeding up development of the new domestic jet terminal to replace the ageing facility built more than 50 years ago.

The company says the new arrivals area will add more than 30,000sqm of floor space or roughly three rugby fields to the current footprint of the international terminal, meaning more space for border processing, biosecurity screening, retail, public dwell and
back of house areas.

Chief executive Adrian Littlewood said the expanded area will also help to strengthen New Zealand's border to prevent pests and diseases from entering the country and allow for the automation of many biosecurity processes.

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There will be a 50 per cent capacity increase in Biosecurity New Zealand
and New Zealand Customs processing space, helping to improve peak time capacity.

He said the airport was accelerating progress of the Domestic Jet Hub – a $1 billion-plus
development to be connected to the southeastern end of the current international terminal.

Auckland Airport’s international arrivals area is set for a multi-million-dollar expansion. Video / Supplied

The new terminal has long been delayed, meaning passengers have had to endure the often crowded existing facility which was destined to be a cargo terminal soon as part of early plans.

Littlewood said the jet terminal was one of the airport's most important anchor projects.

"It's no secret that the complexity of delivering such a large-scale vertical development
in both a constrained construction market and a 24/7 operating environment has
created some challenges for us,''' he said.

However, the company had made significant strides in advancing the design and delivery model for the project, with enabling works for the Domestic Jet Hub now underway in and around the future building footprint.

An image of what the new arrival area may look like. Image / Supplied
An image of what the new arrival area may look like. Image / Supplied

''We have worked closely with our airline partners to understand their requirements and
we are now moving from preliminary to developed design," he said.

A project alliance is being formed to build and deliver the Domestic Jet Hub, with an
interim alliance agreement now in place between Auckland Airport, Hawkins (a
Downer company), Fletcher Construction and Mott MacDonald

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The new arrivals area is the fourth of eight key anchor infrastructure projects to get
underway over the past year: large-scale roading; airfield and terminal infrastructure
developments which will deliver greater capacity and resilience.

Littlewood said a highlight will be a more efficient roading system to enable public transport, to prioritise traffic heading to the terminals and to ensure smoother journeys.

Roading improvements will also support infrastructure development and integrate with
the improvements Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport are
making to the airport's southern access point – SH20B.

"Auckland Airport is becoming an increasingly important business hub, with more than
900 businesses and 20,000 workers based at or near the airport," said Littlewood.

Despite growth levelling off recently, traveller numbers are estimated to more than
double to 40 million-plus per year by 2044.

''We know that we need to work fast to progress our transformation plans and our core focus is on delivering the essential aeronautical infrastructure New Zealand needs to succeed.''

Three would $720 million to be spent over the next four years in renewing, maintaining and expanding the airfield and associated airfield utilities.

The company has been under fire for short notice runway closures this year as it prepares for major slab maintenance work later this year.

Today it reported a dead flat profit of $147.2 million and warned the fallout from the coronavirus epidemic may dent full-year profits.