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Airport launches big vision

Last updated 05:00 03/04/2014

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More local jobs for the South Auckland community are part of Auckland Airport's 30-year vision for the future.

It will see the airport expand to include a new combined domestic and international terminal, a second runway and improvements for transport to and from the airport.

Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood says that will deliver direct benefits for the local community.

"Our vision supports the Auckland Council's focus on improving the South Auckland economy and increasing local incomes and job opportunities, especially for our neighbouring communities," he says.

The investment is expected to create more than 27,000 fulltime jobs.

New businesses will start up at the airport and existing businesses will expand, Littlewood says.

The vision is driven by the increasing connection New Zealand has with the rest of the world.

"We are forecasting the number of passengers using the airport every year to almost treble, from 14.5 million people in 2013 to 40 million people in 2044," he says.

"Likewise, the number of flights is expected to almost double from 150,000 a year in 2013 to 260,000 in 2044.

The initial focus is on building the first part of the combined terminal and that is expected to be finished within five years.

The new northern runway is expected to be completed by about 2025 to cater for growth in passengers, cargo and larger aircraft.

It is possible the runway may need to be extended by 890 metres to improve efficiency and meet the requirements of larger aircraft but it will be built entirely on airport-owned land.

Littlewood says the airport will be discussing the developments with local communities.

"As the airport grows, we will continue to work with our neighbours and other stakeholders impacted by our development. We are focused on delivering the maximum benefit to our local communities and the wider Auckland region," he says.

Manukau East MP Ross Robertson says the 30-year plans are a huge boost to the South Auckland region.

"We cannot underestimate the importance of this for an area which has a significantly under-utilised workforce. The people of Papatoetoe, Otahuhu and Otara will reap the rewards of this vision for many years to come," he says.

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- Manukau Courier

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