Auckland Airport Expanding To Deal With Large Planes Such As The 777X

Auckland Airport has revealed plans to massively increase the size of their facilities up to 250,000 square meters. These new infrastructure improvements include six new plane stands, a new taxiway and eventually a new runway.

Auckland Airport Expanding To Deal With Large Planes Such As The 777X
Auckland Airport from above will look radically different in the coming years. Photo: Wikimedia

What are the details?

Just last Tuesday, Auckland Airport announced plans to develop the land near their international terminal (for those playing along at home, it’s to the left of the white terminal, next to the sea in the image above).

This land will be used for sorely needed infrastructure developments, and to prepare the airport for the future of aviation. One such new development is the large wingspan of the Boeing 777X. With Air New Zealand on the brink of ordering new widebodies from Boeing (possibly even the 777X) and their hub being Auckland Airport, right now is the perfect time to redevelop the airport.

“Auckland Airport is working hard to grow New Zealand’s success in travel, trade and tourism, and this project is a critical piece of the puzzle in enabling our future masterplan,” said Auckland Airport general manager airport development and delivery André Lovatt speaking to Newshub.

Auckland Airport Expanding To Deal With Large Planes Such As The 777X
The new terminal and 2nd runway as seen from the air. Photo: Auckland Airport

What are they planning to build?

They are planning eight different upgrade projects:

  • New plane stands
  • New taxiway
  • New 2nd runway
  • New international arrivals area
  • Renovated domestic terminal
  • New cargo facility
  • Additional roads and public transport connections
  • New domestic airline terminal (separate from the current terminal that has all domestic airlines operating at it).
Auckland Airport
Where the work will take place. Photo: Auckland Airport

The six new plane stands will allow unused aircraft (with large wingspans like the 777X) to park. Auckland is at the end of a very long route network, including flights to London with Qatar and Emirates, and resting space is sorely needed for their A380s.

“The remote stands are designed to give us some headroom, so that one day they can become physically connected gates to the terminal, as growth in airline and passenger numbers demands it over time.” – Lovatt continued

Auckland Airport will use the next taxiway to connect the six new remote stands, and eventually, a new runway.

The 2nd runway for Auckland Airport. Photo: Auckland Airport

When will it be done?

Construction will begin soon, with the plane stands and taxiway due to be complete in 2021 (which seems like a long time for concrete slabs but this isn’t

“This is the beginning of a series of truly transformational projects at Auckland Airport. The complete development programme of work we are embarking on will yield some really great benefits and enable us to accommodate the 40 million passengers and 260,000 flights that are expected by 2044,” said Lovatt to International Airport Review.

The airport authority has not given any timings to the other projects on that list, apart from a tentative 2044 completion date. This plan follows on from upgrades completed to the international terminal departures area completed over the last four years.

We highly recommend that you check out the interactive guide to the airport here.

What do you think of these improvements? Let us know in the comments.