09 September 2012

Akarana to Tokoroa

In January 1973 Akarana wrote to the Air Services Licensing Authority advising their intention to start an air taxi service from Auckland to Tokoroa. Planning continued and by early 1974 the Matamata County had permitted them to the use of the airfield at Tokoroa. Permission to land at Tokoroa was, however, withheld by the licensee, New Zealand Forest Products Ltd, as it was felt by the licensee that granting permission to Akarana Air to start an air taxi service would jeopardise negotiations taking place over the sale of the property to the Matamata County.

While NZ Forest Products were operating flights in their own aircraft for their staff there was no service available for the general public. Finally, all the obstacles were overcome and on the 6th of April 1976 the South Waikato News carried a brief article that said, “A public air service between Tokoroa and Auckland will commence tomorrow morning. The company organising the flights, Akarana Air Ltd., will operate a daily service. A five passenger, twin engine plane will be used for the service a company spokesman said.”

South Waikato New 8 April 1976

Akarana Air Timetable - June 1976

The air taxi service, which started on the 7th of April 1976 enabled Akarana to test the viability of a scheduled service without applying for a licence. The results were not promising and a scheduled service never came to fruition, the air taxi operation being short-lived and so there was no objection in July 1976, to Air North being granted approval to have Tokoroa as a stopping place on its Rotorua-Auckland scheduled service.

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