Major road upgrade at Auckland Airport will increase capacity at airport

As one of eight key anchor projects planned for Auckland Airport over the next decade, Northern Network will add capacity to the core airport network.

Major road upgrade at Auckland Airport will increase capacity at airport

Auckland Airport has begun one of its most significant road projects in decades, and with the upgrade of its core network, private cars and public transport will be able to access the airport with greater ease.

The multi-million dollar ‘Northern Network’ project will transform the main entranceway into Auckland Airport, as well as providing critical support for new public transport connections.

Northern Network will add capacity to George Bolt Memorial Drive and see new roads constructed around the core airport network, ensuring it continues to get people to, from and around the precinct quickly and efficiently as passenger numbers increase.

André Lovatt, Auckland Airport’s General Manager Airport Development and Delivery, said: “Northern Network is about making access to the airport reliable, with the road network resilient enough to cope with anticipated volumes in the years ahead.

“Northern Network is a key project for Auckland Airport in that it is providing the road infrastructure backbone for a multi-billion investment programme to transform Auckland Airport over the next two decades.”

With Auckland Airport’s visitor numbers expected to double to more than 40 million by 2044, the company is beginning a critical phase of infrastructure development over two decades.

During this project the main road into the airport from the north, will be widened to create high-occupancy vehicle lanes, with shared pedestrian and cycle paths alongside. Simultaneously, roads will be added to the airport network.

A new one-way loop road will be built, allowing traffic to flow efficiently through a pick-up/drop-off zone at the international terminal before connecting back into George Bolt Memorial Drive. The new Altitude Drive will provide additional road capacity, allowing terminal-bound traffic greater journey time reliability.

Construction firm Downer, an ASX- and NZX-listed company, has been appointed as the contractor for the project. Earthworks will begin in August 2019 with road improvements completed by mid-2021.

Lovatt continued: “This project is one of a suite of transport and road projects to take place allowing growth of the airport, which includes the second runway.

“We know that any time there are roadworks on busy roads across Auckland it can affect traffic. We will be maintaining two sealed lanes in either direction on George Bolt Memorial Drive, just as there are today, but we need to keep our site workers safe and will be asking road users to take care.

“We also ask that people take the roadworks into account when they’re planning their trip to the airport.”

This investment supports Auckland Airport’s long-term strategy to enable public transport, and aligns with the investment being made by the New Zealand Transport Agency and Auckland Transport in the wider transport network serving Auckland Airport, including the new Puhinui Station and State Highway 20B.

Northern Network is the second key anchor project to kick off this year, following the start of Auckland Airport’s airfield expansion in June, a project that will increase the size of the airfield by 18 per cent and provide new taxiways and remote stands for the parking and servicing of aircraft.

Other infrastructure development projects that will begin over the next decade include:

  • The new domestic jet terminal
  • A new international arrivals area
  • Rejuvenation of the current domestic terminal
  • The second runway
  • A new cargo facility
  • Reconfiguration of the international forecourt drop off and pick up.