Auckland Airport in New Zealand is set to start work on its airfield expansion project, marking the next critical phase of its infrastructure development programme.

The airport noted that the airfield development is the first of eight major infrastructure projects that will begin over the next decade and comes after Auckland Airport completed major upgrades to the international terminal over the last four years.

Over the next three years, the airport will convert more than 250,000m² of land, or roughly 30 rugby pitches, into new airfield space at the western end next to the international terminal.

This would add an extra 18% of surface area to the airfield.

The latest project will deliver an additional taxiway, extension of an existing taxiway, and development of six remote stands for the parking and servicing of aircraft.

Improving aircraft movement around the airfield, the taxiways will eventually connect the current runway and the future second runway.

Auckland Airport development and delivery general manager André Lovatt said: “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.”

“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.”

Together, these projects will provide some additional airfield capacity to allow the relocation of existing aircraft activities.

As part of the project, the new airfield will be built to specifications to accommodate the largest passenger planes that have a wingspan of 65m to 80m.

Auckland Airport selected CPB Contractors as the preferred contractor for the project. Earthworks are expected to begin mid-year and are scheduled for completion by late 2021.