The site of the airport was first used as an airfield by the Auckland Aero Club. In 1928, the club leased some land from a dairy farmer to accommodate the club's three De Havilland Gypsy Moths. The club president noted at the time that the site "has many advantages of vital importance for an aerodrome and training ground. It has good approaches, is well drained and is free from power lines, buildings and fogs." Prior to rebuilding, this was known as Mangere Aerodrome.
From 1948, the RNZAF Base Auckland at Whenuapai served as the civilian airport for Auckland. This was chosen, despite the hills adjacent to Whenuapai limiting the ability of newer aircraft to use the facilities, to the lack of cost to the Auckland City Council, as the site was already established as an RNZAF base. A September 1948 report by Sir Frederick Tymms recommended that Whenuapai Airport be replaced with a larger purpose-built airport located in either M?ngere or Pakuranga. In 1958, the New Zealand Government commissioned Leigh Fisher Associates to survey and design the international airport at M?ngere.In 1960 work started to transform the site into Auckland's main airport. Much of the runway is on land reclaimed from the Manukau Harbour. The first flight to leave was an Air New Zealand DC-8 in November 1965, bound for Sydney. The airport was officially opened the following year, with a 'grand air pageant' on Auckland Anniversary weekend, 29 to 31 January 1966.Upon the airport's opening, the runway was originally 2,590m long, with an extension to its current length carried out in 1973.Qantas commenced the first scheduled Boeing 747 service out of Auckland on Friday 8 December 1972.A new international terminal, named after Jean Batten, was built in 1977. Prior to this, all flights used what is now the domestic terminal. In 2005, the international terminal was altered, separating arriving and departing passengers.
Previously taxiway 'Alpha' had been modified and designated as Runway 23R/05L so that rehabilitation work could be completed on the main runway 23L/05R. After the work was completed, the temporary runway reverted to taxiway alpha, although the main runway retained its L/R designations. In 2007, construction began on a second runway to the north of the current one. Initially the new runway would have been 1,200-metre long and catered for regional flights operated by Air New Zealand using turboprop aircraft. This would have cost $32 million and would have improved the efficiency of the airport by removing smaller planes from the main runway. At a later stage, the runway would have been lengthened to 1,950 metres to allow it be used by small jets on domestic and trans-Tasman flights. In August 2009, however, the project was put on hold due to a downturn in air travel, and later in 2010 the project was suspended.Construction for Stage One started in November 2007. Stage Two saw the runway being lengthened to 1,650 metres , which enabled domestic jet flights to use it. Stage Three bought the lengthening of the runway to 2,150 metres , allowing medium-sized international jet flights to land there, from destinations such as the Pacific Islands or Australia. Eventually a new domestic terminal would also be built to the north to better utilise the new runway. The new runway will thus free up the longer southern runway to handle more heavy jet operations. The ten-year project would cost NZ$120 million, not including substantial extensions planned for the airport arrivals/departure buildings and associated structures.In 2009, an extension to the international terminal was constructed, creating Pier B. Pier B covers 5,500 square metres and has been designed to allow for the addition of new gates when required. It currently has two gates, both capable of handling Airbus A380 aircraft. In May 2009, Emirates became the first airline to fly the A380 to Auckland, using the aircraft on its daily Dubai–Sydney–Auckland route.
On 2 October 2012 Emirates began operating the Dubai–Melbourne–Auckland with an A380, having previously operated the route with a B777-300ER. From 2 October 2013, the A380 took over from a B777-300ER on the Dubai–Brisbane–Auckland route This will mean that Emirates now serves Auckland solely with A380s, and Auckland Airport becomes the only airport in the world, other than Dubai, to have three scheduled Emirates A380s on the ground at the same time. In 2014, Singapore Airlines was the second airline to operate A380s at the airport.
In 2013, the domestic terminal undertook a series of upgrades costing a total of $30 million. Stage one ran from January 2013 to March 2013, and involved changes to the drop off points and roads outside the terminal. In the second half of 2013, the baggage claim belts were lengthened, parts of the apron was changed, and new corridors were connected to the jetbridges. The two different sides to the terminals now share a centralised security screening area following the upgrade and an extra storey was added to the western wing to provide an airside connection between the Air New Zealand side of the terminal and the Jetstar side of the terminal. The work took 12 months to complete.In early 2014, the airport released their 30-year vision for the future, which envisaged the airport to combine both the international and domestic operations into one combined building based around the existing international terminal. This will see new domestic piers built to the south of the existing international precinct within the next 5 years. The plan also allows for the extension of the current international piers and also the creation of new piers for international operations. A new 2,150 metres long northern runway will be able to cater for aircraft up to the size of the 777 and 787 jets. New public transport links including a new railway station and line may be built in the future. The plan has been split into four implementation phases. Phase 1 will see all operations combined into one terminal precinct as well as improved road network surrounding the terminal within the next five years. Phase 2 sees the new northern runway constructed as well as the extension of the terminal forecourt by 2025. Phase 3 involves the extension of both international and domestic piers by 2044. Phase 4 sees the northern runway extended to a length of around 3,000 metres .From the 2015 Annual Report, work will commence on extending Pier B in the current financial year. This project will allow for three more gates to be built. This will double, from three to six, the number of A380 aircraft Auckland Airport can accommodate at any one time. Also, it will increase the number of B787-9 aircraft that can be accommodated from six to nine. This development has been requested by airlines for greater capacity, in the future 4 more gates will be built on the northern side of Pier B.In early 2022, construction will begin on a new domestic terminal that will merge onto the existing international terminal to the east.
Mr. Jonathan Good (Gen. Mang. of Technology & Marketing)
Ms. Mary-Elizabeth Tuck B.Com., L.L.B. (GM of Strategic Infrastructure Planning & Transformation and Gen. Counsel)
Ms. Libby Middlebrook (Head of Communications & External Relations)
Mr. Stewart Leslie Reynolds (Head of Strategy, Planning & Performance)
Andrea Marshall (Head of Masterplanning & Sustainability)
Morag Finch (Deputy Company Sec.)
Recognition and Awards
Ms. Carrie Hurihanganui (Chief Exec.)
Mr. Phil Neutze (Chief Financial Officer)
Ms. Anna Cassels-Brown BA, MInstD (Gen. Mang. of Operations)