As the largest airport in New Zealand, Auckland Airport is also the busiest. It sees roughly 13 million passengers pass through its doors each year and this figure is likely to increase steadily in years to come. Its cargo port contributes the second largest amount to New Zealand’s economy each year and it carries about 70% of the country’s international travelers. Though the site was used as a runway by the Auckland Aero Club long before the time, the Auckland Airport was officially opened in 1966. Its geographical location was preferable to that of Whenuapai and it soon took over from this older airport in the north-western side of the city. Today the Auckland Airport is one of New Zealand’s major economic contributors as it provides thousands of jobs and is one of the biggest employers in the region.
The Auckland Airport is located in Manukau City in Auckland and it mainly serves the nearby Auckland city center. It is a public airport and it is operated by Auckland International Airport Limited. The airport is situated at a very low elevation of 23 ft (7 m), though this does not negatively affect the aircraft in any way. It is also used as a central hub for Air New Zealand and most of the flights leaving from the airport are related to this company. The airport has two runways. The first is 11 926 ft (3 635 m) in length and has a concrete surface. The second is 10 197 ft (3 108 m) in length and features an asphalt surface. The airport building itself is very modern and clean, though it should probably be noted that the airport collects an ‘Airport Improvement Fee’ from its passengers in order to keep the building in tip-top shape.
Many visitors arriving in New Zealand do so with the intention of mountain-biking across the country. For those that bring their own bicycles, there is an assembly and dismantling facility located in the arrivals area just outside the international terminal. All cyclist should keep in mind that it is illegal to cycle without a helmet in New Zealand. The Auckland International Airport also provides several other great services such as an inter-denominational chapel, a baby-changing facility, a variety of children’s entertainment facilities and Internet kiosks. Visitors can also make use of restaurants, shops, a massage service, showers and a first aid service. Flight announcements are both displayed and announced on facilities located throughout the terminal.