Auckland International Airport Terminal Development Project


Customer: Auckland International Airport Ltd 

Location: Auckland, New Zealand  

Contract Type: Measure and value model 


Project Capabilities

Civil Mechanical & Electrical

Fast Facts

  • upgrade to existing DN 450 (18”) buried steel jet fuel pipeline 4.4km long
  • which pumps up to 14,300 litres of fuel per minute to 22 different aircraft stands
  • Installing a new 600m section 
  • and civil and mechanical refurbishment to fuel network and valves

McConnell Dowell Ltd (MCD) won stages two and three of the Auckland Airport’s Terminal Development Project (TDP) in late 2019. The aim of the work was to enable future expansion of the fuel stands, runway and airport terminal. The McConnell Dowell proposal outlined a programme that would enable the team to deliver better safety outcomes, reduce costs and maintain high quality.    

The project was completed in two stages:   

  • Re-routing a new 600m section of the existing DN 450 (18”) buried steel fuel supply pipeline main to enable the construction of a new domestic jet terminal baggage handling building.   
  • The civil and mechanical refurbishment of the existing fuel network, valves and pipework.  

The Challenge:  

The main challenge was maintaining the fuel supply during the upgrade and ensuring it was kept clean throughout the handling and storage process. Containment testing failure was a key risk and mitigating this allowed the fuel to be recycled back into the system. While the new pipework was connected, MCD kept all services live and fully operational as they are critical in the AIAL daily operations.   

The Solution:    

  • The shuts were programmed in two parts as increased detail and micro-planning were required for ‘the shutdown’ itself. 
  • Shutdowns are planned to the minute as part of that micro-planning, this allows us to accurately track in detail the progress of the shut as works progress. 

MCD programmed each fuel shutdown into two parts the setup and prep work, then the shutdown and re-establishment. It was split into two parts as increased detail and micro-planning were required for the shutdown itself. 
The shutdown was timed to the minute as part of that micro-planning. This allowed the team to accurately track the progress of the shut as the works progressed. Detailed planning began six months in advance to ensure all contingencies were covered.  
The plans were also reviewed in collaborative workshops with the client. Various scenarios and plans to manage each was worked through to ensure all contingencies were addressed. We also followed each shut down with a ‘lessons learned’ session to ensure the process was completed without fault and refined each time.    

The Key to Success:  

Extensive forward planning, maintaining high-quality standards and making sure the airport’s strict health and safety rules were followed were key to successful construction.  
The project’s success was largely due to a high-performing team who were focused on delivering value and carrying top-quality work to improve Auckland’s International Airport.  Commitment to quality, coupled with cooperation and robust health and safety systems resulted in a high-quality project that was delivered with minimal disruption for the client.   
The TDP fuel line enabling works began in September 2019 and were completed in August 2020.   

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