Auckland Airport: So far behind Changi Airport in Singapore



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OPINION: It was a farce. A big jet plane waiting for a tiny plane from the Great Barrier to Earth. Three hundred people sitting in an airplane waiting for just a few passengers.

Auckland airport should have a second runway for domestic airplanes. It has been spoken since the 1960s. The embankment actually started on a second lane in 2007. Now, it is expected to be opened by 2028.

Auckland's domestic terminal looks like a zoo on Monday mornings, with rows winding back to the food court. I recently apologized to a French traveler behind me, explaining that it is just so on Monday to Friday mornings.

Yes, major updates are on the way. But let's be frank, there's no real rush to the airport. It's not like airlines have an alternative.

Queues at Auckland airport.

HANNAH MARTIN

Queues at Auckland airport.

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Auckland Airport continues to pat on the back to win the best airport awards in Australia and the Pacific. Meanwhile, in the real world of first-class airports, Singapore's Changi Airport is opening a five-storey indoor tropical forest with the world's largest covered waterfall and a canopy park.

PROVIDED

A first look at the new game changer development at Singapore's Changi Airport Jewel.

Haneda Airport in Japan has a floor dedicated to pop culture, complete with flight simulators for children. Meanwhile, back to Auckland Airport, we have a "parking safari" on offer for those heading between the international and domestic terminals.

Airports are not just a place to catch a plane, they can also be a destination. It surprises me how many people love to travel, but they hate airports. This is a huge failure of airport companies.

A look at the new development of Changi Airport in Singapore.

PROVIDED

A look at the new development of Changi Airport in Singapore.

Air New Zealand is a world leader in innovation. Why should travel stop when you leave the plane? Because Auckland's airport is distracted, instead it focused on catching up after years of holding the pockets of shareholders.

What made Air New Zealand the world leader? Competition. Auckland Airport has none. I recently wrote about how New Zealand has one of the lowest penetration rates for low-cost carriers across Asia. I guarantee a second airport would lure them.

Passengers at Auckland airport.

Provided

Passengers at Auckland airport.

Imagine for a moment if the RNZAF Base Auckland in Whenuapai was a double commercial airport, designed primarily for low cost carriers. Air Asia, TigerAir and Singapore's Scoot could fly there, offering cheap flights to Asia and Australia. Jetstar may even offer connecting flights throughout the country.

To make that work, it would be necessary to have an efficient rail link to Auckland Airport – so that passengers could easily connect to Air New Zealand's services because the domestic airline would not be interested in splitting its operations. Auckland's airport would quickly speed up, or risk losing customers to the new airport.

Auckland Airport has completed the Pier B extension of the international terminal.

Provided

Auckland Airport has completed the Pier B extension of the international terminal.

I know it will never happen. But the underlying point remains, the Auckland airport needs competition. Our national psyche was built on drilling above our weight. Unfortunately, the doorway to our country does not come close to reflecting this.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments.

Airplanes New Zealand at Auckland Airport.

CHRIS SKELTON / STUFF

Airplanes New Zealand at Auckland Airport.

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