01 August 2011

Northland Districts Aero Club and Air Services to Whangarei

As part of my series of posts on Great Barrier Island I am planning a trip to Whangarei to research the Northland District Aero Club service to the Barrier and other air services to our most northern city. This is a rough time line on services to and from Whangarei but I would really appreciate any more information, especially dates of the start and end of services. Please email me at westland831@gmail.com

1954 - NDAC commenced operations (based at Kaikohe) in 1954. Several years later moved main base to Whangarei.

1 Sep 58 - Coastal Airways Start

26 Sep 58 - Coastal Airways Ends

5 Apr 60 - Northland Airways - Air Service to Dargaville and Auckland

1970 - When NAC and later Air NZ introduced larger aircraft and reduced the frequency of its Auckland-Whangarei services the air taxi business of the aero club built up. With the import of PA-32 ZK-DBP the commercial operations of the aero club traded under the name of Executive Air Taxis. From early 1970s introduced an early morning return air taxi run on the route. A return late afternoon service was later introduced.

6- Jul-70 - Piper Cherokee 6 ZK-DBP added to the Northern Districts Aero Club fleet

30 Nov 77 - Aero Club member Dave Culham of Culham Engineering purchased four DH.104 Devons from RNZAF.

27 Oct 80 - Licence to operate Devons on Whangarei-Auckland route. Two Devons ZK-UDO and ZK-KTT eventually flew on the service.

24 Apr 81 - Trans North Airlines (NDAC and a group of private investors) plan to get a Bandeirante.

4 Mar 85 - Southern Cross Airways Starts Auckland-Whangarei service

2nd ½ 86 - Southern Cross Airways Ends Auckland-Whangarei service – Date unknown

Late Jul 87 - Great Barrier Airlines start Auckland-Whangarei service

Ca Aug 87 - Executive Air Taxis renamed Whangarei Air Taxi/Taxis. GAF N.22B ZK-NDB in service by Feb 88

16 Sep 88 - Announcement Eagle Air were to replace Air New Zealand

31 Oct 88 - Eagle Air replaces Air New Zealand

Jan 89 - Private company Northern Commuter Airlines Ltd formed and took over the operation of Whangarei Air Taxis in January 1989. Used GAF N.22B ZK-NDB, later PA-31s FOP, NCA and probably other aircraft. Worked strongly with Tranzair from April 1990.

9 Jul 98 - Tranzair announce end of service

1 Aug 98 - Tranzair ends

From about 2005 the Northland District Aero Club entered a process to merge with the Whangarei Flying Club. This process was completed in mid 2012.

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