Business / Covid 19

Trans-Tasman travel: Auckland Airport 'ready' with separate zone in terminal

11:39 am on 26 March 2021

After months of work, Auckland Airport is ready for the opening of a travel bubble with Australia.

Auckland Airport baggage claim. Photo: Brett Phibbs / PhibbsVisuals

The airport has made plans to segregate at-risk and no-risk travellers - dividing the international terminal into two self-contained processing zones.

Zone A, a safe travel area, will be used exclusively for quarantine-free arrivals and all departures.

Zone B, the health management area, will be used for processing arrivals who are going on to managed isolation facilities.

Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood told Morning Report that planning started in August 2020 and its price tag is in the millions.

"In October, we separated our terminal into two sections."

They are physically separated and disconnected and even have their own utilities like ventilation and heating.

"We'll be fully ready to go subject to any further details being made available by the government on 6 April when they make their decision."

He said operations had been working with airlines and health authorities to ensure passenger safety.

The airport has reported losses since the pandemic started.

"Tasman used to be 40 percent of our business - Kiwis and Aussies going back and forward. It is a significant opportunity for NZ. Aussies have been keen to come to New Zealand as travellers for some time, but they've had the rest of the world to travel to."

He said data showed the trans-Tasman bubble was a safe travel option.

"It is a significant opportunity for NZ" - Adrian Littlewood