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About us

Tauranga Airport connects people and places by welcoming residents and visitors as a gateway to Tauranga and the region.

Tauranga Airport is the eighth busiest airport in the country and the third busiest for general aviation. In 2018 the airport saw 50,000 flight movements, with over 430,000 passengers arriving and departing on domestic flights.

We aim to successfully operate a commercially viable airport which is recognised as a centre for excellent airport transport services, related facilities and other services.

Airport upgrade

We have commenced works on a major terminal redevelopment that will enhance the customer experience at Tauranga Airport, one of the main gateways to the city and the region.  The overhaul will take approximately 15 months, with the expanded terminal passenger area to open in December 2018, catering for future increases in passenger volumes. 

Tauranga Airport's new terminal

Ownership and governance

The airport is owned by Tauranga City Council. It is operated in accordance with the Airport Authority Act and governed by an Airport Advisory Group. The group is made up of three independent directors who have extensive aviation and private sector business experience. 

The airport is a standalone ‘business unit’ of the Tauranga City Council and requires no ratepayer funding. Its annual revenue is currently $6m. This is made up of landing fees, parking charges and rentals. Expenses are made up of administration costs, airfield, runway and building maintenance, depreciation and debt servicing. The airport currently runs an operating surplus in excess of $1.5m per annum.

Airport operations

The airport is centrally located in the city and has a sizeable land holding of 225 hectares. The airport has the most diverse range of air operations in the country, being the third busiest airport for general aviation. It has one main sealed runway and three grass runways, as well as a link taxiway and apron servicing a moderate sized terminal area. 

The main runway was extended to 1825m in 1998 and is capable of handling up to, and including, Boeing 737-800 and Airbus 320 aircrafts. The airport is a 24 hour, seven day a week operation, with air traffic control is provided between 5.50am and 9pm daily.

There are 70 hangars on the airfield with about 110 fixed wing and 15 rotary wing aircraft based on the airfield.

Airport Master Plan

The Airport has a 20 year master plan which has allocated areas of land for future use. The plan takes into account the Bay of Plenty’s projected growth along with airline expansion plans. It is designed to prevent haphazard development and leaves space for the future needs for operational areas, airport terminal and car parking, hangars and maintenance facilities as well as a variety of ancillary services such as rental cars.

Airport master plan (2mb pdf)

Airport facts

  • 430,000 passengers a year (2018)
  • 50,000 aircraft movements (numbers of flights arriving and departing in 2018)
  • 3 direct destinations from Tauranga Airport (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch)
  • 3 grass and one sealed runways
  • 1825m long runway
  • 70 hangars
  • 225 hectares land holding

Airport history

Tauranga Airport opened on 14 January 1939 and regular commercial flights began three months later. However, due to the start of WWII flights were stopped again in October 1939 when the RNZAF started using the airfield. Commercial services did not restart again until March 1945.

The RNZAF began flight training in Tauranga in late 1939. The initial cost of establishing the air force base in Tauranga was £69,455 which included camp facilities and the main hangar being built in 1942.

In 1966, the introduction of Friendship aircraft on regional routes meant that a better runway, runway lighting, a terminal building and control tower were required, and the main sealed runway was constructed. In 1998 the runway was lengthened to 1825m.

Friendships continued to serve the district until 1990 when they were phased out for the smaller Bandierante, Metroliner and Saab aircraft, operated by Eagle Airways and Air Nelson.

From 1961 until 1998 the Airport was operated as a ‘joint venture’ between the Government (50%), Tauranga City Council (35%) and Western Bay of Plenty District Council (15%). Tauranga City Council purchased the operating rights to the airport business from the Crown and Western Bay of Plenty District Council in April 1996, and is now solely responsible.

On an average weekday there are nine return flights to Auckland, five to Wellington and four to Christchurch. These services are operated by 50-seat Dash 8 Q 300 and 70 ATR aircrafts.

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