24 February 2018

The Essential Nature of Airports and Regional Airlines

Cyclone Gita, other major weather events and earthquakes have proved the fragility of out roading networks and the importance of local airports and air operators in the likes of Kaikoura and more recently Golden Bay. But it doesn't take much to thing of other areas where in the event of a major disaster air transport would be essential in the likes of the West Coast, East Coast and even Wellington!

The post below recounts the activity of the local air operators in and out of Takaka since Cyclone Gita...

At the airport in Golden Bay on Friday, half a dozen people were waiting in line at Golden Bay Air to book flights out. Co-owner Richard Malloy said it had more than 100 people on a waitlist for flights to Nelson, and they were using three aircraft that were all flying back-to-back.  "In terms of enquiries, it's a little bit less busy than other days," he said. "I think what happens is they make the announcement and people panic...because they have to be out with international flights and all that, so the people we have now they want to go on the weekend and early next week, which is much easier for us." Franz Bruins from Holland was waiting to book a flight, but said he and his wife weren't fazed about the hill road being closed. "It's a nice adventure, you have got to be prepared for things like this," he said.

Golden Bay Adventure Flights co-owner Nika Naumann said her husband, pilot Mit Brereton, had flown 170 people in and out of Golden Bay over the last several days.  "He's tired, but it's all good," she said. "It's for the good of the community; like when the earthquake in Kaikoura happened and he was...flying in-and-out supplies. He's always trying to help, and as soon as something happens he goes 'I have to help'."

NZ Post is using Sounds Air to move mail in and out of Golden Bay

Sounds Air's Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SAY at Takaka on 22 February 2018


  1. I do think the Government should be looking at future proofing regional airports for 2nd and 3rd level airlines and the Air Force for natural disasters like with recent weather events in Takaka, West Coast and Kaikoura with the North Canterbury earthquake in 2016. Climate change is now starting having an impact on NZ's climate, so the writing is on the wall so NZ needs to be prepared.

    1. Good point but what could be done to future proof?