Tauranga Airport opened on January 18, 1939. In 1940,
the land was acquired for the development of an RNZAF
training station and two years later, the main hangar
was built by the Ministry of Works.
services began in 1946 with L-10-A and DC3 airliners.
1961, the Tauranga District Council, the Western Bay
of Plenty District Council and the Crown entered into
a joint venture to operate the Airport. In 1983, further
land was purchased for future expansion.
next significant development was in 1967, when the
Airport closed to enable the construction of a 1,280
metre sealed 24-hour runway, passenger terminal and
control tower. This work was completed and the Airport
re-opened in 1968. The Airport was serviced at that
time by Friendship aircraft.
the period 1989-90, Friendships were phased out and
replaced by smaller but more frequent-flying Bandierante,
Metroliner and Saab aircraft. Airline services operate
to Auckland and Wellington with the aircraft operated
by Air New Zealand and its subsidiaries. A recent
addition has been a scheduled service to Auckland
and Palmerston North, offered by Nelson-based Origin
operations have developed at the Airport, mainly relating
to small aircraft operators. They include aeronautical
servicing industries and recreational flying - provided
by the Aero Club and the Gliding Club, in patricular.
1998, the Tauranga District Council purchased the
share of the Airport business owned by the Western
Bay District Council, and the Crown and the existing
joint venture agreement ended April 30,1998. Since
this date, the Airport business has been 100% owned
and operated by the Tauranga District Council.
airport is busy, with no less than 77,000 aircraft
movements a year. This is split between scheduled
flights of 6,600 and other movements of 70,400. This
makes it the fourth busiest controlled Airport in
New Zealand - behind New Zealand's three major international
airports. In 1998, the sealed runway was extended
to a length of 1,825 metres. This enables the operation
of 737 or similar sized aircraft, and allows for the
possible introduction of Trans Tasman services.
Airport is operated by the Tauranga District Council
and is an Airport Authority in terms of the Airport
Authorities Act 1966. The Council is the certified
aerodrome operator. A rescue fire service is provided
under contract to one of the small airline operators.
from the extension to the runway, the services at
the airport have not been significantly improved since
the initial developments in 1967. The challenge facing
the Airport Board is to develop growth opportunities
- , both in airline traffic and in aviation-linked
business.This will pave the way for upgrading and
improving the facilities.