I had not visited the international side for many moons...and so was stunned to see the progress on the new up-on-stilts airport hotel, right outside the terminal.
Top-left is how the site was, back in March/April 2010... and now the current state of play - astride the carpark like an alien machine! As you can see, things are moving ahead quite quickly.
On the first three above-ground floors will be a 150-seat restaurant and bar, 11 meeting rooms, conference/function room for 300, gym and airline crew lounge. The 263 guest rooms in the 12-floor 4-star Novotel start at the third level, which is high enough that rooms on the western side will get a view over the terminal and see the planes taking off and landing – a plane spotter’s paradise!
The hotel is a $65 million joint venture between Tainui Group Holdings and Auckland International Airport, due for completion July 1, 2011 (just in time for the *yawn* Rugby World Cup 2011).
Developments such as this, the international terminal with its myriad retail outlets, cafes and bars, two domestic terminals, freight operations, car parking, warehouses and offices bring in well over half of Auckland Airport's revenue. And the airport adds more than $15 billion of value to the NZ economy annually. That equates to 14% of our gross domestic product (GDP) and more than 15% of national employment. She's a biggie, all right!
|Oct.2011 - the finished product...|