31 January 2021

Motiti Island - Index of Posts


The following links take you to posts on the operators that have serviced Motiti Island

1990-1995, 2020-current


Growing the Chatham Islands Air Service


While Air Chathams has yet to resume its full airline schedule air services to Whakatane, Whanganui and Kapiti Coast the service to the Chathams has grown. One presumes that the lack of international passengers transhipping to and from Air Chathams' services is a key element to this. Meanwhile the Chatham Islands have become a hot international domestic destination and provided a boon for Air Chathams as it beds its larger ATR 72 aircraft on to the Chathams run.

A Radio New Zealand piece (https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/435473/chatham-islands-bucks-trend-with-strong-tourism-growth) reports that In a newsletter, Tourism Chatham Islands said a comparison of visitor numbers between 2019 and 2020 showed a 32 percent increase in arrivals. (I wonder whether that factored out lockdown?). The organisation said Hotel Chathams was nearly full to June, and they were not expecting the usual autumn and winter decline. Air Chathams confirmed there was already plenty of demand and forward bookings for 2021. This kind of growth would be essential in supporting larger aircraft to fly to the islands once the right infrastructure was in place, Air Chathams said.

Meanwhile the Chatham Islands Airport Limited has issued a press release on the "Longer and Stronger Project to extend the Inia William Tuuta Memorial Airport runway on the Chathams. 

The contract to construct the extension to the Chatham Islands Airport is being developed using the Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) model with the preferred contractor for that process now being identified. The procurement process was conducted in line with the New Zealand Government Procurement Rules and was run as a closed, two stage process — Registration of Interest (ROI) and Request for Proposal (RFP) The outcome of this process is that Downer New Zealand Ltd has been selected as the preferred contractor with them being offered the opportunity to proceed into the ECI phase. Over the next three weeks negotiations will be held between the Airport Contract Management Team and Downer representatives to finalise a contract for the ECI process. 

In addition to the selection process further geotechnical and survey work has been completed to identify suitable materials for construction and to refine quantities required. The ECI process will see the preferred contractor, BECA and the Airport Company work together to develop a design for the runway and apron extension and strengthening and finalising detail on such things as logistics, the use of local labour and contractors, community liaison for the project and refining detail on the sourcing and production of aggregates. At the completion of the ECI process the contractor will provide a firm price and subject to this being within the anticipated funding envelope and further ministerial approvals, a construction contract will be let. The aim is to commence the construction of the extended runway and strengthen the existing runway and apron in mid-2021 with completion envisaged in mid to late 2022. 

The project engineers, BECA Limited, are assisting the Airport Company with the project contractual processes, leading the design, and will be managing the project. 

The Inia William Tuuta Memorial Airport - Chatham Islands Airport 


A NZ Government "Shovel Ready" two stage project to construct a Lengthened and Strengthened airport for the Chatham Islands. 


  • Extending the runway at the western end (05 end) from the existing 1,360 metres to 1,850 metres (45 metres wide). 
  • Providing strip end (60 metres) and Runway End Safety Area (RESA; 240 metres) to both the 05 and 23 ends of the runway. 
  • Strengthening the existing runway pavement to facilitate Code 4C aircraft. 
  • Extending and strengthening the existing apron to accommodation 2 x Code 4C aircraft (Boeing 737/Airbus A 320 type aircraft) and 2 x Code B aircraft (Beechcraft Kingair turbo prop type aircraft). 
  • Strengthening the existing taxiway to accommodate Code 4C aircraft. 
  • Providing and improving stormwater drainage. 
  • Relocating the existing runway lighting system to the new additions. 
  • Providing runway edge lights along the extended length of the runway (to match existing). 


  • Airfield navigation aid (runway lighting) upgrade to facilitate remote monitoring.  Improvements to existing terminal building to include separation of departing and arriving passengers. 
  • Improved baggage claim facilities. 
  • Establishment of improved cargo handling facilities. 
  • Provision of electrical, communication, water and wastewater services associated with the buildings. 
  • Improvements to perimeter security fencing. 
  • Establishment of Rescue/Fire services (as required and dependant on Aircraft type). 

26 January 2021

Great Barrier - North Shore on GB210

The return flight from Great Barrier Island to North Shore on 20 January 2021... 

Again, not much of a day 

Leased Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SLA at Great Barrier Island on 20 January 2021

All masked and ready to go

The main operators to Great Barrier Island

Lining up at Claris for Runway 28

Kaitoke Creek

Claris Airport and Kaitoke Beach

Whangaparapara Harbour

Looking into Port Fitzroy and Kaikoura Island

On the right... Omaha

Omaha Bay

And on the left Kawau Island and Bon Accord Harbour

School House Bay

South Cove

Mullet Point

And then we hit the rain ending photos

25 January 2021

Barrier Air at GBZ

Some more from my afternoon at Claris Airport on Great Barrier Island on 20 January 2021

Barrier Air's first Cessna Grand Caravan was soon to board for Auckland

It returned later in the afternoon using the cross runway

Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SDD arrived just as we were starting... hence the angle

And another shot of leased Grand Caravan ZK-SLA

24 January 2021

Fly My Sky at GBZ

BN Islander ZK-PIZ landing on the grass at Claris on 20 January 2021

BN Islander ZK-SFK landing on the grass at Claris on 20 January 2021

BN Islanders ZK-PIZ and ZK-SFK


23 January 2021

Sunair at GBZ

Rocketing in and out of Claris Airport on Great Barrier Island on 20 January 2021 was Sunair's Piper Aztec ZK-FVP arriving from Whangarei

Apparently Sunair has been pretty busy through Great Barrier Island over the summer

Piper Aztec ZK-FVP is looking very sharp after her repaint

And she is off again, this time to Whitianga and Tauranga

Love these two pics... Has the look of a drug running aeroplane in South America


22 January 2021

GB205 to GBZ


I had to do a trip to Auckland earlier this week and decided to check out Barrier Air's leased Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-SLA and their service from North Shore to Great Barrier Island... Only one problem from my end - my camera had a hissy fit which change the white balance of my photos and gave them a blue tint. I couldn't fix until I got to the Barrier, however have corrected those most in need of it...

Barrier Air's extended North Shore service started on 20 January 2021... Cessna Caravan ZK-SLA lands at North Shore on GB204 

Refuelling between flights GB204 and GB205 

The North Shore Aero Club has developed the terminal for the two airlines servicing North Shore

Unlike Barrier Air's other Caravans SLA is configured one seat each side with six rows... A configuration that I feel has a lot more passenger appeal

Lining up Runway 21 at North Shore

A couple of nice shots of North Shore Aerodrome on departure

The titles on the side of the aircraft might have changed... showing ZK-SLA's True South ownership

Karepiro Bay to the left looking down towards Long Bay and Rangitoto in the distance

A couple of views of Red Beach and Orewa

Gulf Harbour

Motuora Island

From left Motutara, Moturekareka and Motuketekete Islands with Mullet Point in the distance

Kawau Island

Tāwharanui Peninsula and Omaha in the distance

Little Barrier Island

The many islands of Great Barrier Island's western coast

A couple of views of Whangaparapara Harbour

Great Barrier Island's rugged interior

Oruawharo Bay - the small curved bay with the Sugar Loaf and Pitokoku Island at the left

Claris airport

Looking north from Claris airfield

the northern end of Kaitoke Beach with Palmer's Island at the point and Lion Rock beyond

The white sands of Kaitoke Beach

Pitokuku Island and the Sugar Loaf

The white sands of Kaitoke Beach with the peak, St Paul, in the background

Claris terminal with Barrier Air's ZK-SDB on the gate

My ride - ZK-SLA - with the stunning back drop of Great Barrier Island's peaks in the background


Thanks to Grant and Josh from Barrier Air for a great morning. For plane spotters or nuts the North Shore service is a great way to have a few hours on the Barrier without the parking expenses of Auckland. There is a cafe 10 minutes stroll away. There wasn't a lot happening aviation wise when I was there but the day wasn't the best. I will post a few photos in the next day or two.