Auckland International Airport’s 30 year Vision

Rather Impressive (Although that is quite some parking there too)

Updated to link video and Master Plan PDF

 

Auckland International Airport has released its 30-year vision which has been picked up by the Main Stream Media this morning. Included is also a very nice video outlining AIA’s vision, and a PDF document outlining the “importance” of the Airport.

From the NZ Herald:

Airport boost for Auckland

Thirty-year plan to create 27,000 new jobs and pump billions of dollars into regional economy

The 30-year-plan will help create more jobs, lift Aucklanders’ incomes and contribute strongly to the regional economy.

Auckland International Airport’s 30-year growth plan will create a $2 billion regional gross domestic product uplift, 27,000 new jobs and boost Auckland household incomes by $1.4 billion, according to a new study.

The listed business today released Insight Economics’ detailed analysis of the financial flow-on from the 30-year expansion strategy which chief executive Adrian Littlewood said would create more jobs, lift Aucklanders’ incomes and contribute strongly to the regional economy.

Land has been earmarked for two rail corridors and a railway station from the city — one line from the existing Manukau railway station and another down George Bolt Memorial Drive, Littlewood said.

The new underground station would be built either under or adjacent to the new terminal, he said.

The railway station and terminal land is now partly pasture and at the southern end of the international terminal. Littlewood said the two corridors for the rail lines had been created in the airport’s spatial master plan not necessarily because both would be built but because options must be kept open.

“We have set aside enough land for a rail corridor through the airport precinct to the terminal and for an underground station at our new combined domestic and international terminal building,” he said.

The airport was working with the Government and Auckland Council to ensure transport infrastructure was developed to cater for the massive expansion forecast, from 14.5 million passengers last year to 40 million by 2044.

“We have also designed space for an additional express bus service, created extra bus lanes and improved facilities for local buses and shuttles.

And the airport might need a longer second runway in the next three decades, he said.

The airport had 7,000 carparks now but plans to build two multi-story mega-parking blocks with pedestrian walkways to the new terminal, he said. Littlewood said those buildings could be about three levels, but no final decision had been made.

You can read the rest over at the Herald site

The video can be seen here (opens in new tab/window):

[Just hit the Vimeo link despite the privacy notice]

Auckland Airport Vision to 2044 from Auckland Airport on Vimeo.

The economic report can be read HERE (opens new window). :

The Auckland Airport “of the future” can be accessed HERE

The Auckland International Airport Limited Master Plan PDF can be read below:

 

The initial reactions I am seeing in Facebook and Twitter (after I did some link spamming) was one of impressiveness although the amount of parking provided could be an overkill – especially with options to allow a bus and rail station provided right outside the terminal entrances.

That said this was the most interesting bit (apart from the video):

Land has been earmarked for two rail corridors and a railway station from the city — one line from the existing Manukau railway station and another down George Bolt Memorial Drive, Littlewood said.

The new underground station would be built either under or adjacent to the new terminal, he said.

The railway station and terminal land is now partly pasture and at the southern end of the international terminal. Littlewood said the two corridors for the rail lines had been created in the airport’s spatial master plan not necessarily because both would be built but because options must be kept open.

“We have set aside enough land for a rail corridor through the airport precinct to the terminal and for an underground station at our new combined domestic and international terminal building,” he said.

 

So AIA (the Airport) is going to facilitate the allowance of a bus terminal and a rail station to allow trains in from the City and Manukau City Centre. The line from the CBD to the Airport is known as the Airport Line (so existing heavy rail) and is earmarked for construction most likely either once the City Rail Line gets under way or is fully completed. The line from Manukau to the Airport is something else and although the Mayor Len Brown would like it done as well (as heavy rail) the complexities around Wiri (so the Junction (the Manukau North and soon to be done South Links linking the Manukau Line), EMU Depot, and Port of Auckland’s Inland Port) make heavy rail to the Airport neigh impossible. However, it is not a write off in having rail link South Auckland (and Howick/Botany) you just need to go outside the square.

Cue the Botany Line Sky Train which is an elevated Light Rail system that connects the Airport to Manukau, Botany and Panmure. You can see the idea here: The Botany Line Sky Train with an excerpt covering the Airport to Manukau section below:

The Botany Line Sky Train

Time to Link the Eastern Suburbs, Airport and South Auckland up with a quality Light Rail Transit System

 

Since the Botany (heavy rail) Line got bottled along with the Eastern Highway when John Banks was defeated in 2004, as well as a heavy rail option from Manukau to the Airport now ruled out (junction issues at Wiri) I have been wondering how can we revive the Botany Line.

The answer: a Vancouver styled Light Rail Transit – Sky Train system!

 

This is where the Botany Line (working name) would be built in linking up the Eastern Suburbs, Manukau and the Airport together:

Botany Sky Train Line Revised Over View

Click for full resolution

The total line is about 30,645 metres (30.65km) or 25,220 metres (25.2km) without the Manukau Loop. The line is divided into four sections each built progressively over time as demand and finances allow it. The four sections being (and in order of construction):

  1. Airport – Manukau City Centre section (Yellow Line)
  2. Manukau City Centre – Botany Metropolitan Centre section (blue line)\
  3. Botany MC – Panmure Interchange section (red)
  4. Manukau Loop (White/grey dash line)

To add further flexibility and reach the Manukau South Rail Link would also be built to allow direct Pukekohe/Papakura – Manukau Station services with the new EMUs.

 

The Botany Line sky train would be built in four stages listed above over a set amount of time. To keep the line away from ground traffic the entire line and stations would be elevated. This would mean incorporating future connections and urban design of the buildings surrounding the line/stations rather than the stand alone stations we see with most of our heavy rail system.

The depot would be located in what is currently Greenfields just west of the existing Wiri industrial complex. It is of note though that particular area is undergoing a zone change with the area to be flipped from rural to medium or heavy industrial land (which is sorely needed down here any how). So if this Botany Sky Train Line is a go we would have to future proof the yellow section of the line for both the line and any stations plus the depot.

As for stations I have not placed them in yet but will do so in the near future if and when the Sky Train concept gains traction. The idea has been presented twice – in both the May and November Manukau Presentations. Rolling stock wise I would see no issue asking CAF (the builders of our new EMU’s) to adapt the EMU model for elevated light rail running. Like the heavy rail EMU trains on their way to Auckland you should be able to run a single or double consist together with capacity topping out at the 750 passenger mark. Unlike our heavy rail EMU’s these Sky Train EMU’s would be fully automatic (meaning driver-less) not having to worry about freight trains.

Frequency, timetable and potential amount of passengers carried is something I will work on at a later date. But I suspect the Sky Train will be pretty popular along its entire route.

 

Airport to Manukau Section (yellow line)

Botany Sky Train Line Revised Airport-Manukau section

Click for full resolution

The Airport-Manukau section (yellow line) of the Sky Train is the longest and in theory the easiest to build owing to the land use in the area. The section is about 9.2km long and run through mostly rural or industrial land.

As mentioned earlier in the post I have not decided on station location yet for any part of the Sky Train system. However, the depot for the system would be located on this section owing to the rural or industrial land use within the area.

I am aware though of the airport planning a massive overhaul of the terminals over the next 20-30 odd years so when the airport section is being designed and built, consideration of the new terminals will need to be taken into account with Sky Train.

At the Manukau end of the yellow section of the line you have an interchange that handles heavy rail passenger services, buses and a parking facility not too far way if anyone was up for Park and Ride. The proximity of this interchange would allow seamless transfers to other modes of transport to carry one’s journey on else where.

Again the Manukau-Airport section of the Sky Train would be the first section to be built.

……

Full article can be read here: The Botany Line Sky Train

 

With the Airport now outlining its ambitious goal Auckland Transport, Auckland Council and Kiwi Rail might want to start accelerating transport provisions to match the Airport’s growth.

 

Impact on the CBD and Manukau City Centre

 

I noted this from the Mayor in this morning’s Herald article:

Auckland mayor Len Brown said the airport’s 30-year expansion strategy supported the council’s southern initiative and was great for the people of Auckland, especially South Aucklanders.

The Mayor is correct on both counts. Yes via the Airport Line people will be able to access our main CBD with ease (especially compared to now) for tourists and corporate travellers but what has my attention is the Airport’s consequences for South Auckland.

The Airport will further become a major employment centre (both the airport itself and the surrounding logistics centres) for South Auckland (which already provides the large bulk of workers for the airport as is) and this will have spill-on effects for the South Auckland area. To bring a long story short (as this post is getting long) those spill over effects will affect South Auckland’s main hub – the Manukau City Centre causing further economic effects to the region. The Botany Line Sky Train would allow rapid movement of people from the South and East to and from the Airport lessening road congestion (which is bad enough as is without further growth in the area) thus allowing easier freight movements in the area. So the potential is large and something Auckland should not squander.

Auckland International Airport had this to say in a press release this morning on the employment and economic opportunities for South Auckland:

Airport growth will bring local jobs to people in South Auckland

29 March 2014

Auckland Airport’s 30-year vision will play a key role in the future development of South Auckland and contribute directly to local education and employment opportunities.

The investment in infrastructure over the next 30 years is expected to boost regional GDP by $2 billion, create more than 27,000 full time jobs and help lift Auckland’s household incomes by $1.4 billion.

Auckland Airport chief executive, Adrian Littlewood, says, “Our vision supports the Auckland Council’s focus on improving the South Auckland economy and increasing local incomes and job opportunities, especially for our neighbouring communities.”

“As we secure our position as a hub airport serving Australasia and the Pacific Rim, new businesses will be established at the airport and existing businesses will expand. This will provide new opportunities for the people of South Auckland.  Educational opportunities will also increase as a result of our development.”

“As the airport grows, we will continue to work with our neighbours and other stakeholders impacted by our development.  We are focused on delivering the maximum benefit to our local communities and the wider Auckland region. We are committed to playing our part to make Auckland a world-class city,” says Mr Littlewood.

—-Ends—–

 

The future at Auckland International Airport (and beyond) certainly looks impressive.

 

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