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Biosecurity is championed at our largest airport


23 February 2021

Auckland Airport is New Zealand’s largest entry point for travellers arriving in New Zealand and New Zealand’s third largest cargo port by value. More than 160,000 tonnes of international airfreight, worth approximately $18 billion, pass through Auckland Airport’s facilities every year.

The airport is licenced by MPI as a Place of First Arrival, which we see as a privilege, not a right, and with privilege comes responsibility. Our kaitiakitanga is beyond compliance. We are very conscious of the important role Auckland Airport needs to play in having a strong border to help keep Aoteoroa free of any new exotic pests and diseases.

That’s why Auckland Airport has a strong operational, educational and integrity focus on biosecurity across our entire operation as well as with other organisations operating at our site. We have developed a range of educational and awareness tools, including online courses, training collateral, ‘biosecurity pest of the month’ campaigns and promotional materials. We hold regular stakeholder meetings with regulators and organisations operating at our airport, as well as with our own people.

We have clear and consistent rules, policies and procedures and we train our own people and others who work here so they know and understand the importance of our biosecurity management tools, as well as auditing to ensure they are robustly complied with. We have high-quality tactical pest management programmes and environmental monitoring. We also use IT tools to map hot spots and record incursions or issues so we can better target and predict where to focus our efforts, including how we can change the environment to make it less attractive for unwanted species.

Even though passenger numbers are low at present, we are very aware of the important role airports play in managing the risk of COVID-19 and take our responsibilities for helping reduce the risk of community spread seriously.  Our procedures have been completely revised with new operational models to assist travellers and meet new and evolving border requirements.

That is why it is also important that we are a member of the Biosecurity Business Pledge and learn from other companies at the forums and peer sessions.