Some months before, in December 1954, James Aviation had launched Tokoroa’s first air service (http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/06/beavering-away-in-tokoroa.html). During the winter of 1955 the James Aviation service petered out and the Auckland Aero Club saw this to start its own service in late November/early December 1955 using Cessna 170 “Businessliners.”
|Cessna 170B, ZK-BGK, at Christchurch. Photo : D White Collection|
- ZK-BGE Cessna 170B (c/n 26455), the first one of the fleet, crashed at Dargaville on the 2nd of April 1960 and was not rebuilt.
- ZK-BGK Cessna 170B (c/n 26456) named 'C.B. Smith'
- ZK-BLS Cessna 170B (c/n 26455) named 'H.M. Buchanan'
- ZK-BJS Cessna 170B (c/n 20351) replaced ZK-BGE
- ZK-BUF Cessna 180A (c/n 32935) named 'Sid Langston'
|Cessna 336 Skymaster, ZK-CGF, at Greymouth on 25 June 1972 after passing from Auckland Aero Club ownership. Photo : B Whebell|
|Above, NZ Forest Products first plane, Piper Aztec, ZK-CUS, taken at Tokoroa. Photo : D White Collection|
|The Pinex plane, Piper Navajo, ZK-PNX is seen above at Tokoroa shortly after its arrival in the country in November 1977. Ardmore in September 1981. Photo : S Lowe|
|Piper Pa31T 1040, ZK-FPL, at Rotorua on 25 March 1987. Photo : S Lowe|
With the expansion of the pulp and paper mill Kinleith Corporate giants Elders Resources NZFP Ltd, who had bought out NZ Forest Products, was instrumental in the development of the Tokoroa airfield including the provision of an 850m x 18m sealed runway. With the sealed all weather strip came the introduction of scheduled services for company personnel as well as being available for the general public. For some years the operation of NZ Forest Products aircraft was undertaken by Airwork NZ Ltd who operated an unscheduled, as required, service for Elders/NZFP from Ardmore. From the 1st of October 1989 Airwork NZ took over the service and using the Piper T1040, ZK-FPL, operated it as Auckland-Tokoroa Air Services. Piper Pa31-350 Chieftain, ZK-EBT, was also often used on the service.
|On the service... Auckland-Tokoroa Air Services Piper Pa31T 1040 at Tokoroa on 1 February 1990 (above) and Piper Pa31-350 Chieftain ZK-EBT at Tokoroa on 24 January 1991 (below).|
For other posts on air services to Tokoroa see...
NZ Forest Products
Auckland-Tokoroa Air Services