Tourism Industry Predicts Auckland Airport “Light Rail”


The tourism industry association is predicting a light rail service between Auckland airport and Downtown Auckland will happen, thanks to the new Auckland super-city operating from November.

In its submission to the government on the relevant legislation, the association says the formation may  see a number of major tourism related infrastructure projects come to fruition.

It predicts a national convention centre, a light rail service between the airport and downtown, and upgraded port facilities to cater for cruise ship passengers.

The submission also warns that the job of transforming Auckland assumes even more urgency with New Zealand hosting the Rugby World Cup just 18 months from now. It says the recent revelation of an earlier ARTA report saying  Auckland wasn’t ready “is concerning not only for the tourism industry, but also for related sectors that stand to benefit from an influx of visitors.

“The issues raised in the ARTA report will need to be addressed quickly, so Auckland is ready for the economic growth and opportunities that the Super- City will create. Opportunities will emerge to attract events, visitors, investment, talent and migrants to the city, but in order to capitalise on these opportunities, a governance structure that allows an autonomous visitor agency to get on and do its job free from bureaucratic processes will be critical in growing tourism for the region.”

The submission argues strongly for a standalone regional tourism organisation in Auckland.


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  1. Cambennett says:

    Why light rail? Surely it’s easier and makes more sense to go with the current plan of connecting it to the existing heavy rail network?

  2. Jon R says:

    It’s the usual thing that groups not understanding transport get all confused over normal rail vs light rail.

    It makes a lot more sense to use heavy rail for speed and the fact that most of the heavy lines already exist. If we go light rail imagine the costs involved.

    Now we may as well have a press release from Mr. Monorail to through more confusion into the mix.


  3. Matt L says:

    @Cambennett I agree a light rail line would be stupid as it would require new infrastructure all the way to the airport from town, this would be prohibitively expensive and stop it from ever happening.

    Heavy rail is the only realistic option and luckily it is also the best option as it is faster and can move more people than light rail can. It can also hook up to the existing network at Onehunga and/or Puhinui, the Onehunga link would also give about 3 other new stations along the route which would also enhance transport options in the region.

    Personally I think that the Airport link should be built and opened at the same time as the CBD tunnel (which I think should start as soon as the current study is completed)

  4. Joshua says:

    I think they are just confusing the two, although it would be cool to see a skytrain over the motorway and into the city.

    But practically heavy rail for sure.

  5. Jon C says:

    I have asked them what they have in mind. They may be thinking Motat trams for all we know!

  6. anthony says:

    Motat tram!?!? I’d much rather have the modern trams so it can be more reliable and cheaper in the long term. and by the way, what route are they porposing?

  7. Johans says:

    Light rail to that giant slab of tar they call a carpark at the airport?

  8. Ingolfson says:

    “Light rail to that giant slab of tar they call a carpark at the airport?”

    That car park is the REASON we have no airport rail link. It is a huge factor in the 50% of the airport’s income not being related to actual AIRPORT operations.

    As for the tourism industry mixing up (or being unaware of the differences and advantages/disadvantges between) light and heavy rail: Don’t miss the real point!

    This is ANOTHER group joining the calls for better rail/PT in Auckland. The opinion is really pretty much unified in Auckland by now, with the only ones resisting it in Welly!

  9. curtissd says:

    Link heavy rail to Onehunga with a few stations in between to provide public transport to the workers / houses that exist. When the Auckland airport was built back in the 60′s was a rail link ever thought of? Great to read that it is on the cards so to say. I live in London at the moment and travel a great deal and talking to people who ask me for advice of how long the train takes and costs to get from Auckland Int’l airport to get to city is a hard one!

  10. Sonicantz says:

    Yes the airport gets a whole lot of $$ from the carpark, but most other international airports that do have a rail link charge a premium for passengers getting off at the airport, this would cover any losses in revenue from fewer cars parking at Auckland Airport. Plus there is a huge catchment area of passengers and industry if linking from Onehunga, across the bridge, through Mangere Bridge, Mangere, Airport Oaks, and out to the Manukau Spur. Heavy rail for sure.

  11. Jeremy Harris says:

    If you have a look at the long term plan for the airport a lot of the green field area around there will be developed commercially and as far as I can tell from the plans car parking will remain static or even decrease… If passenger numbers continue to grow (dubious but the airport believes it to be a given) thay will need all the PT links they can get…

  12. Jon C says:

    I asked the Tourism assn what they meant and they clarify as we expected:
    We meant a train service to the central city, which is what I understand most of the discussions in Auckland to date have referred to, rather than a tram proposal.

  13. J says:

    I’m sure they really mean a maglev.


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