Air New Zealand will begin construction on the largest single span timber arch aircraft hangar in the world at its engineering base in Auckland later this year.

‘Hangar 4’ will be large enough to house a wide-body aircraft such as the airline’s 777-300 or 787-9 Dreamliner, and two narrow-body aircraft such as the A320 or A321neo, at the same time.

The new 10,000 square metre timber hangar will be a 5-6 Green Star development certified by the New Zealand Green Building Council, meaning it will meet the highest standards of sustainable building construction and operation.

A double-layer insulated fabric roof will enable the hangar to retain heat without the need for a heating system, while several large ceiling fans will circulate warm air back down to floor level in winter and provide a cooling effect in summer.

Air New Zealand Chief Ground Operations Officer Carrie Hurihanganui says the hangar has been designed with input from the airline’s Engineering & Maintenance employees to ensure it is fit for purpose.

“It was really important to us the team that will work in this space day-to-day be involved in the design process. Our existing hangars were built in the 1960s and 1980s and while they have served us well, our fleet has grown both in number and in physical size over the past decades. We now have a need for a more modern, innovative structure that takes energy use and other sustainability factors into account”.

The two-year construction programme is expected to start towards the end of this year.