You may have seen media this week about long queues at Auckland Airport’s international arrivals at some peak times.
Auckland Airport takes seriously its role as a significant participant in the tourism sector and as the country’s main gateway for New Zealand visitor arrivals. As such, the Airport wants to ensure its tourism colleagues have the latest information on what it’s doing to make improvements.
Auckland Airport is a complex system, involving the airport, airlines and their ground handlers, Customs, and Biosecurity New Zealand. All these organisations are responsible for different parts of the arrivals process.
Auckland Airport is working with airport system partners to tackle the bottlenecks which sometimes happen at peak time due to unexpected operational issues. All parts of the system need to work well in order to deliver smooth experience for customers.
Most travellers do have a smooth experience through Auckland Airport arrivals. On average, it takes 30 minutes for travellers to get off their plane, move through Customs, collect their bags and process through Biosecurity New Zealand and exit to the public arrivals pick up area.
However, there are certain times during peak periods when this is not the case. Be assured the Airport is pulling out all the stops to make travel as smooth as possible through the busy period.
Progress is being made. Auckland Airport has led significant work across the airport arrivals system since April, which has seen a 14% improvement in average customer arrival processing times.
The Airport has added 30 new frontline staff over the past 6 months, and during the summer period it will be bringing in an additional 45 holiday hosts.
Biosecurity New Zealand is also continuing to introduce new quarantine officers to increase capacity and speed up processing at the border. Last year, 64 new Biosecurity officers started nationwide, with 46 based in Auckland.
After already introducing a new lane for New Zealand and Australian passport holders with nothing to declare, Biosecurity New Zealand is now running trials to identify low-risk air passengers before they arrive at the biosecurity area to try and process them more swiftly.
The Airport is also working with airlines to improve the timeliness of their flights.
This work is all coming together. Over the last 6 months processing time has improved. But more needs to be done and airlines, the airport and border agencies are all working together on it.