10 June 2021

Cleared for RNAV approach


Just over a month ago Barrier Air announced that they would launch Auckland-Whitianga flights on the 16th of December 2021. Flights will operate twice daily on weekdays and daily on Saturdays and Sundays and depart as follows for the 30 minute flight;

Monday - Friday

0730 and 1530 Auckland - Whitianga

0830 and 1630 Whitianga - Auckland 


0730 Auckland - Whitianga 

0830 Whitianga - Auckland


1530 Auckland - Whitianga 

1630 Whitianga - Auckland  

The service has come another step closer with work underway for the recommissioning of the GPS approach into Whitianga. 

Barrier Air's CEO Grant Bacon kindly answered a few questions about this next step in the development of the new service...

There was already an IFR approach into Whitianga... So why had it lapsed? What was the process of reactivating it?

It had been decommissioned quite a few years ago. We are going through a process to recommission it and it is very similar to the previous approach.

So how has it been working with Airways in this process?

Airways has been fantastic during the process. They have made something we were not sure would even be possible a reality.

Why was the approach be decommissioned?

From what I understand at the time no one really used it at a viable level so they didn’t see the need to keep it active.

With a new destination such as Whitianga, what training will your flight crew need and what shape will that take?

The route overall is very similar to Great Barrier but there will be a route check for each pilot and we will do a fair amount of familiarisation flights prior to the commencement of the service

I see there is a GPS route from Whitianga to Great Barrier Island - Is this a future route possibility or just offering the airline some flexibility?

There is no intention to operate to Great Barrier direct at this stage. Passengers will transit via Auckland and we now have through fares so people can travel from Kaitaia to Whitianga via Auckland or Great Barrier Island to Whitianga via Auckland.

So it has been a couple of months since the new service was announced. How is it looking? 

The feedback from the market has been better than expected and I think we are in for a good summer.

A big thanks to Grant and I'm looking forward to trying out the new Whitianga service and I've already booked my ticket.

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