30 October 2020

Airport Hui


Iwi groups and property owners will sit down together to discuss the future of Kāpiti Coast Airport. The airport land is part of Te Āti Awa’s ancestral lands, and also has significance for other iwi and hapū. Kāpiti Coast District Council on Thursday was set to vote on a plan to ask central government to buy the airport land and operate it in partnership with iwi. Before the meeting could formally begin, Iwi and Hapū members asked the council to delay a vote until after a meeting on November 11 with the Templeton Group, which owns the land as part of NZPropCo. Kāpiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan is backing a small group of whānau from Ngāti Puketapu hapū asking the Crown to return their ancestral land which has been developed into the Kāpiti Airport. The future of the airport has been up in the air since August, when the owners warned it was facing “significant economic viability issues” and was considering rezoning some land for commercial development. Puketapu Hapū ki Paraparaumu spokesperson George Jenkins said a council vote before the meeting could have “pre-empted a negative reaction”. “We will be entering the meeting with the goal of friendship, the discussions will follow from there,” he said. The group's goal is to repatriate some, if not all, of their ancestral land. He said he would welcome a partnership with Templeton group which would allow the airport to keep operating with the support of Iwi. “This could be something grand, something the community can be proud of,” he said. “This is not just an opportunity to be on the right side of history, but an opportunity to make history right.” The land was compulsorily acquired in 1939 under the Public Works Act and used to build a military aerodrome for World War II. After the war, the aerodrome became Paraparaumu Airport – the busiest civilian airport in New Zealand between 1947 and 1959. The Government sold the airport to private owners in 1995, despite a recommendation that the land should be offered back to its original owners at market value. Puketapu has an open claim with the Waitangi Tribunal looking for redress for the land that was not offered back to descendants and was instead passed into private ownership. If successful, a cash settlement could be made by the Office of Treaty Settlements that it could use to buy back in. Kāpiti Coast District Council has already passed an official resolution supporting returning the ancestral airport land to its original owners, but had not yet laid out any specifics for how that would be done. A council report found there was significant interest to both the iwi and the wider community in keeping the airport operating. “It is appropriate for the council to advocate to central government that the airport should remain both for its strategic value and to link that value to potential avenues of redress for Treaty settlements,” the report found. The report also recommended officers investigate whether other options could be identified for supporting iwi and community interest in the airport land. Kāpiti Mayor K (Guru) Gurunathan and Porirua Mayor Anita Baker have both previously written to Government Ministers in an attempt to keep the airport running, arguing it is vital as an emergency runway for Wellington Airport. A response from Transport Minister Phil Twyford said the airport was privately owned and the Government was not involved in the airport owner’s commercial decisions.

Source : https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/kapiti/123242736/iwi-and-property-owners-to-meet-over-kpiti-airport-future

Air Rarotonga update

I've had a little email contact with Air Rarotonga's Ewan Smith in the last few days. While I have been keeping up with what has been happening in the NZ domestic airline scene during Covid it's been a while since I have done an update on Air Rarotonga... Thanks to Ewan for this update 

Things are pretty quiet here. We are just sticking it out doing about 20% of our normal flying hours and revenue. Just local traffic and a few medevacs etc. Fortunately we had already upgraded our Saab fleet last year and we didn't have a lot of debt so we should make it to the other end OK. But it's ugly nevertheless. We were set for a stellar year. The challenge will be the gradual scale up of the business as borders progressively re-open and we start getting some tourists back. Will be years before we can expect to get back to our year round business with visitor flows from both hemispheres though. Hoping to do a bit more charter work around the region with the jet and one of the Saabs to make up some utilisation..... once the borders open to our neighbours. 

Our present fleet is:

2 x Saab 340B+ E5-SMW and E5-EFS(2)
2 x Bandeirantes E5-TAI and E5-TAK. We have a spare airframe E5-TAL in storage.
1 x Cessna Citation II E5-TCM
1 x Cessna 172L-TD E5-NTP (Has turbo the diesel conversion)

Our Bandeirantes are probably good for another five years although we are working with the Government on the progressive upgrading/paving of some outer island runways to permit Saab operations. Manihiki, Penrhyn then Atiu are presently in the planning stage.

Meanwhile Ewan was writing to me about his early days and I have updated my post on James Aviation Rotorua Ltd... Have a look here, http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/06/nac-apache.html

29 October 2020

One photo at PMR


After lots of photos at Whanganui, Palmerston North was bereft of aircraft on Monday 26 October... my only photo was of Originair's BAe Jetstream 32 ZK-JSK as it was about to depart for Nelson 

28 October 2020


I had a great day at Whanganui on 26 October 2020 catching some of the GA 

The highlight was Titan T51 Mustang ZK-LSD 

Classic Cessna 150 ZK-CTF

Piper Tomahawk ZK-FRS

Stoddard-Hamilton SH-2 Glasair ZK-JDL

Cessna 172 ZK-JIP

Cessna 182 ZK-OFC

In the hangar... DH Tiger Moth ZK-BEF

Another classic Cessna 150, ZK-CTG

Maule ZK-JQY

Denney Kitfox ZK-KIT

26 October 2020

IFR Machines at Whanganui

Enjoying the sun at Whanganui today was Beech King Air 200 ZK-PMJ

Meanwhile Beech Super King was pulled out of the hangar and prepared for a medical mission... it flew WAG-WLG-HLZ-PMR-WAG this afternoon

Arriving into Whanganui was Air Chathams Saab 340 ZK-KRA on flight 3C 712 from Auckland


25 October 2020

More from Dunedin

There wasn't a lot else happening in Dunedin on 22 October 2020... These are my other photos

Airbus 320 ZK-OJR backing tracking after arriving from Auckland as NZ675

Airbus 320 ZK-OAB airborne for Wellington as NZ684
My ride for the first sector home, Air New Zealand ATR 72-600 arriving from Christchurch as NZ5752
The New Zealand Airline Academy's Tecnam  P2008 ZK-MBN about to head home to Oamaru
And the last flights in Dunedin from my seat on the plane Mainland Air's ZK-JAS back from its training mission

24 October 2020

Mainland Flyer

 I had an opportunity to catch up with Phil Kean at Mainland Air at Dunedin's Momona airport on Thursday 22 October 2020. Despite lockdown and restrictions Mainland Air continues to be a hive of activity... long may it continue!

Piper Seneca ZK-JAS was going for some training... Smile Phil, you never know when there is a camera pointed at you

Having a rest day... Piper Chieftain ZK-KVW

Even though Mainland Air have had Cessna 152 ZK-NPE for quite 11 years I have never taken it with their markings.

Meanwhile Cessna 152 ZK-NSM I have regularly photographed

New on the block for Mainland Air is Cessna 172 ZK-RQZ. 

I was disappointed Piper Tomahawk ZK-EQX that is on the line for Mainland Air taxied out just as I arrived at the airport so I didn't get it. There's always next time!

22 October 2020

Masterton - New Airline Service Gets Green Light

40 years ago today it was announced that Masterton was to get a new air service to Auckland and Christchurch. Wairarapa Airlines' service didn't work out exactly as planned but it did eventually come to birth... One wonders when the next headline like this will come to pass...

The Dominion, 22 October 1980

My history of Wairarapa Airlines can be found here...

Christchurch Stopover

I had an hour and a bit between flights at Christchurch last evening, the 21st of October 2020... 

Canterbury Aviation's Cessna 180 ZK-JCW came in and dropped off a passenger at the terminal

Life Flight's BAe Jetstream 32 was on an air ambulance flight

Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12 ZK-PLT arrived in from Blenheim

Air New Zealand's Bombardier Q300 ZK-NEU arriving from Hokitika

21 October 2020


There was no SPANZ DC-3 at Matamata on Sunday but it was nice to get a couple of other interesting visitors...

Boeing Stearman ZK-XAF at Matamata on 18 October 2020

NZ Aerospace CT/4B Airtrainer ZK-JMV at Matamata on 18 October 2020

20 October 2020

Air Chat's ATR Flying Scheduled to Christchurch


Air Chathams commenced scheduled ATR 72 operations into Christchurch with ZK-MCO flying the weekly flight from the Chathams to the Garden City, flight 3C 514 and the return flight 3C 541. 

Thanks to the two spotters from Christchurch who kindly sent in their capturing of the first Christchurch flight...

And a note to Air Chats, some decent titles would look good!

19 October 2020

Hamilton for Lunch


Originair commenced services to Hamilton this morning with BAe Jetstream 32 ZK-JSK under the command of Captain Murray Vincent and First Officer Josh Hutchison flying the first of its weekday services, OGN 419 from Palmerston North to Hamilton and the return service OGN 426. The service is being at the middle of the day with the flight into Hamilton arriving at 11.50am and the southbound flight departing at 1.00pm. The new service allows passengers to fly between Nelson and Hamilton with a stop in Palmerston North. The airline has indicated it may look at a more business friendly timetable in the new year. 

It was a gray and gloomy day outside but all sunny yellow inside as Hamilton airport prepared to welcome its first Originair flight 

Originair's BAe Jetstream 32 on touchdown of Hamilton's Runway 36

Welcome to Hamilton

Palmerston North airport departures...  

Hamilton airport arrivals...

In addition to the new service Originair is now operating more services between Nelson and Palmerston North and Nelso and Wellington. The new schedule requires the use of two Jetstreams and ZK-JSH was operating the Wellington services this morning.  

And finally, a note to Originair... You need to overnight a Jetstream in Hamilton then do a HLZ-PMR-NSN return in the morning and then repeated in the late afternoon/evening. Good for business folk in all three cities and having Hamilton as the starting point would mean the fog would have cleared by the time you get back to back to the Tron in the morning!