Auckland International Airport (AIA) has decided to delay proceeding with a planned expansion of its international terminal after some airlines called for more time and the airport decided it would be more prudent to wait.

The airport says it opened yesterday a new international arrivals area and that in June it will open a secondary screening area and in October will open the second stage of Pier B, which has aircraft gates.

This expansion cost about NZ$135 million ($106 million), says the airport, adding that the next phase of expansion will cost about NZ$200 million over three years.

It says the next phase was originally due to be ‘fast tracked’ and completed before the 2011 Rugby World Cup, which New Zealand will be hosting. But instead the airport has decided it will “defer making a decision to proceed with this project for up to 12 months”.

“This will give us time to see how the existing facilities perform and to better gauge the optimal timing for the next stage of expansion,” it says.

The airport also says it took this stance because it will give it more time to properly assess “the appropriate returns” for this project and it is in line with the wishes of the Board of Airline Representatives which were opposed to fast tracking the project.

Another reason is because there is some regulatory uncertainty at the moment, adds the airport, referring to the fact the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board’s (CPPIB) partial takeover of AIA has just received shareholder approval but it is now awaiting regulatory approval.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news