$2.4b 'airport of the future' needs architects

Last updated 15:41 13/12/2013

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A worldwide hunt is on to find architects and designers to develop Auckland International Airport's planned $2.4 billion "airport of the future".

Graham Matthews, Auckland Airport's general manager of airport development, said an engineering and architectural team would be appointed by April.

"We need to assemble the very best design team we can find to implement the vision that Auckland Airport has for this major infrastructure project," Matthews said.

The combined domestic and international terminal is part of the airport's 30-year vision to become a hub airport in the Asia-Pacific region, for up to 40 million domestic and international passengers.

New or extended aircraft piers with extra space for new hotels and shops are key elements of the airport's draft plan.

The airport is also factoring in a potential train terminal but said any rail link to the city would have to be paid by Auckland Council or the Government.

Matthews said the design project would probably be a collaboration between New Zealand and international firms and he encouraged Kiwi firms to apply.

The new integrated terminal will be built in stages to keep pace with forecast passenger growth. Construction of the first phase could start in 2016.

"The integrated terminal will serve the airport's existing southern runway and a new northern runway, which is expected to become operational around 2025," Matthews said.

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- Fairfax Media

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