Pukaki Airport base for adventure

Two prime sections at Pukaki Airport have been purchased by Australian listed skydive and adventure tourism company Skydive the Beach Group.

Pukaki Airport Board chairman Derek Kirke says the recently completed deal had required the board to purchase back a previously sold section and resell it, plus the adjoining section, to meet the company’s requirements.

“This is a major coup for the board to secure this investment from one of the fastest growing Australasian adventure companies,” he says.

“The board has been seeking a high-value operation at Pukaki airfield for some time and we are very pleased to have secured this investment from such a high-performing skydive operator.

“Their foray into New Zealand has been in the Queenstown-Lakes area, and we have always believed Pukaki would be a good fit for a skydive operator because of its weather conditions and scenery. This was proved when a skydive company operated for a time at Pukaki in 2005.”

Skydive the Beach Group was founded in 1999 and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2015. It has rapidly increased its operations through acquisition and currently has 18 skydive locations in Australia and three in New Zealand.

Skydive the Beach’s managing director Anthony Boucaut says the location of the side-by-side sections at the southern end of the airfield was ideal for a skydiving operation and the company is pleased with the opportunity to assist its future growth and expansion.

The sale of these two sections, at the southern end of the airfield development, means the board now has only six sections remaining on the market after developing 55 lots with private title. It is one of the few aerodromes in New Zealand offering private title and where owners can build a house and hangar.

Pukaki Airport is owned by the Mackenzie District Council, with operation and development delegated to the Pukaki Airport Board. The development has enabled all costs to the council, including the airport land purchase, to be repaid in full.


Summer success at the Walsh

Fifty years since the first summer flying camp was held during January 1967 at Matamata Airfield, situated just north of the small Waikato town of Waharoa on SH27, the 51st Walsh Memorial Scout Flying School (generally known as the “Walsh”) again achieved many successes.

The school, named in honour of the early aviation pioneering brothers Leo and Vivian Walsh, this year accommodated 44 ab initio and 26 returned students, plus two student staff members who undertook their flying tasks while at the airfield. As in past years, these students all achieved so much, both individually and collectively, during the two weeks they were camped together on the airfield.

New airline MRO facility

Air New Zealand has signed a licensing agreement to overhaul and repair auxiliary power units (APUs) produced by Honeywell Aerospace at its Christchurch engineering and maintenance base.

The eight-year deal will see the airline as the only certified Honeywell maintenance shop for the APU 131-9A model in the Asia Pacific region and will cover units in its own airliners as well as third-party customers.

Hands across the Southern Alps

Adventure tourism leaders Fox Glacier Guiding and Mt Cook Ski Planes and Helicopters have teamed up to create a new experience for visitors to Mt Cook National Park.

The partnership company, Mt Cook Glacier Guiding, has its operational base at the Aoraki Mount Cook Airport and offers heli-hiking, snowshoeing and ice climbing on the Haupapa/Tasman Glacier.

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