Auckland International Airport (AKL) in New Zealand is upgrading its international terminal arrivals area to strengthen the country’s border protection.

Various enhancement works at the arrival area are already underway to boost efficiency in the final stages of border processing formalities. These include the launch of improved biosecurity screening technology, as well as an overhaul of baggage and reclaim facilities.

Upgrades are being made to front-of-house and back-of-house facilities for Biosecurity New Zealand and the New Zealand Customs Service.

Biosecurity New Zealand Northern Regional Commissioner Mike Inglis said: “We’re looking to automate some existing processes and make use of advancements in 3D scanning to provide greater biosecurity protection for New Zealand.

“We are already making good progress in developing algorithms that will allow the new screening tools to automatically detect biosecurity threats in baggage carried by travellers.”

During the construction works, passengers at the airport will continue to use the existing arrivals area, with changes in place for biosecurity screening and customs search area layout.

The airport officials said that the hoardings would protect staff and travellers from construction dust and noise.

It is anticipated that by late 2024, the first stage of the expanded border processing area will be ready.

Auckland Airport operations general manager Anna Cassels-Brown said: “New Zealand’s economic and environmental wellbeing is very much dependent on ensuring robust border protections both in terms of biosecurity and compliance with rules and regulations for entering our country.

“As travellers, we all play a part in this, but Auckland Airport is committed to ensuring Biosecurity New Zealand and New Zealand Customs can operate as effectively as possible within our international terminal.”

In May, Auckland Airport unveiled its plan to begin enabling works to build the Auckland Airport Transport Hub in front of the international terminal.