Auckland International Airport

Auckland, New Zealand


Auckland International Airport Ltd

Auckland International Airport is New Zealand’s primary gateway handling three times New Zealand’s population annually (roughly 12million) as visitors and passengers.

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As part of a comprehensive review of Airport operations, Common Ground was commissioned to undertake a full review of airport strategic plans and establish a new framework for future land-side development that would set a new standard for such a crucial piece of regional and national infrastructure.

The Common Ground team undertook a comprehensive review of airport assets, business strategies and landholdings to establish key development drivers for the future. The outcome was a transformational shift from “end-of-line” airport “an “on-line Aerocity”.  This approach was conveyed in the first ever land-side Urban Design Framework for the Airport which established development precincts, new roading, rail and infrastructure networks, open space and amenity provision to achieve this outcome.

Following an open and transparent process with internal and external stakeholders, Common Ground developed a comprehensive set of plans and strategies presented and tested directly to the Board of Directors.  This work resulted in immediate and ongoing value uplift for the Airport and shareholders.  More importantly it established a direct link between land-use development and infrastructure provision – maximising benefits and minimising costs for both.

This work has also facilitated a more proactive infrastructure upgrade programme with government stakeholders.

Common Ground has continued supporting AIAL by providing design advice, guidance and review as concepts have been developed further in the design stages.

Common Ground Studio undertook and full Strategic Land Use Review and Framework Planning for AIAL between 2008-2012, specifically:

  • Land Use Review
  • Strategic Planning
  • Development Planning
  • Urban Design
  • Integrated Infrastructure Planning and Design
  • Masterplanning
  • Architectural Modelling and Design
  • Architectural Guidance
  • Landscape Design
  • Visualisations


Since this time Common Ground Studio has continued to provide ongoing support and advice, including:

  • Architectural design reviews
  • Alternate development modelling and strategy
  • Landscape design (see Leonard Issit Drive)
  • Urban Design Support

Direct Project Values:

$NZ 120M

Estimated Capital Value increase:

$NZ 2.5B

Value of Services Provided:

$NZ 360,000 (2012)

Added Value:

  • The Common Ground-led strategy has led to a dramatic increase in share value for the company. In 2008 when the project was initiated the share price was around $1.80 with little increase over previous years.
  • By the time the major project work was competed (2012) the share price had climbed to $2.60 ­— a 45% increase.
  • Today the share price is around $6.50, largely attributable to the fundamental shift in the land development mind-set initiated by Common Ground
  • Transformational strategic shift from Airport to Aero-city
  • Precinct-based land use development and phasing strategy
  • New Movement Framework including:
    • Public transit corridor
    • Entry road and circulation
    • Pedestrian and recreational paths
  • Stage 1: The Quad Precinct Plans
  • Market Value Alternate Use (MVAU) facilitation
  • Design of Leonard Issit Drive
  • Integrated terminal concept development