07 March 2020

Kāpiti Coast Air Service Challenges

Four lanes to the Coast airport

The new roads (Transmission Gully and the Ōtaki bypass) could be a double-edged sword for the viability of flights from Kāpiti Coast Airport, however. Last year the Todd Group revealed it intended to sell the Paraparaumu airport and surrounding land  - surprising even the airline operating there, Air Chathams. New airport owners The Templeton Group confirmed the sale was settled late last year. However the company would not comment on any future plans. General manager Duane Emeny said Transmission Gully could "go both ways" for Air Chathams. It could make the drive to Wellington's airport quicker - although there would still be a "battle" through CBD traffic, he said. The potential upside was Kāpiti might siphon Porirua's air travellers - with four lanes running to an off ramp only a few kilometres from the Coast's airport. Either way, Kāpiti was too appealing to vanish into oblivion, Emeny said. "The strength of the Kāpiti Coast is that it's the Kāpiti coast. It's just a beautiful place, it's gorgeous."

A very interesting piece of a wider article... I didn't realise the airport had been sold. The new road will save time, but the convenience of the local airport has to be a big plus... Added to which the new expressway won't solve the problem of the crawl between the airport and the CBD


  1. The Kapiti Coast is growing region creating a bigger demand for more flights from Kapiti coast airport. Even with the Transmission Gully Expressway being operational, it its still going to take 1 to 1.5hrs to travel from the Kapiti coast to wellington Airport. Steve is correct, Transmission Gully is going to create more traffic congestion between the Terrace and Mt Victoria tunnels.

    With the Otaki to PekaPeka Expressway is opened, it will increase passenger catchment for more flights besides the existing PPQ/AKL but opens up PPQ/CHC for Air Chathams but PPQ/NSN, PPQ/NPE and PPQ/HLZ of small 2nd and 3td level regional carrier.

  2. Many people I know including myself living in northern Porirua used to fly out of Kapiti. It is already faster to go to PPQ than WLG and parking is massively cheaper and closer.
    The big issue isn't Transmission Gully but Air Chathams' lack of capacity. Passengers coming from Porirua were mostly business (incl Govt) passengers have the same big issue with the current service. They are mainly day trip passengers. There is no public transport to and from Kapiti usable by Porirua (or Otaki to look ahead) that meet the early morning departure / evening arrival. So we need to be able to book return flights on the same day as one way from PPQ and the other using WLG doesn't work.
    I have personally tried 3 times in last six months - no can do. Always one leg with no seats. This will not change with Transmission Gully or Pekapeka to Otaki highways. When Air Chathams get there heads around this and up the capacity on those two flights then there is a goldmine to exploit. The early morning late evening Dash 8 was a cash cow for Air NZ (I was frequent traveller back then and never saw less than 45 pax on the flights I used and they were often mid week). It was the other flights to AKL and CHC that were bleeding them money as the Dash 8 was way too big for those flights.