With our beautiful alpine environment, and Mt Aspiring National Park so close by, Wanaka Airport is a natural attraction for visiting aviators. Wanaka Airport is a Queenstown Lakes District Council-owned facility which is contracted to Queenstown Airport Corporation to manage. Historically, it's been most well known for the Warbirds Over Wanaka International Air Show & the Warbirds and Wheels visitor attraction but there are more than 11 businesses with around 250 people working in and around the airport on day-to-day operations.
These operations include:
- Flightseeing to Milford and Mount Cook and surrounding areas
- A large and growing number of helicopters offering training and charter
- Pilot training on Cessna and various aircraft types
- Tandem skydiving flights and parachuting using a custom-designed turbine aircraft
- Private sport and recreation and general aviation
- Agricultural companies with topdressing operations based out of Wanaka Airport
- Charter operations, particularly ski tours
- Regular military visits
- Adventure flying in military aircraft
- Wanaka Airport is a Queenstown Lakes District Council-owned facility which is contracted to Queenstown Airport Corporation to manage.
Wanaka Airport and the wider community
Wanaka Airport contributes significantly to the local economy and has been identified as complementary to Queenstown Airport which is approximately an hours' drive away.
Wanaka has seen unprecedented growth in both residents and visitors in the last two years and is one of the fastest growing towns in New Zealand. Following Air New Zealand’s decision to cease domestic flights in and out of Wanaka in 2013, Queenstown Airport has been the gateway for visitors flying into our region. Wanaka Airport occasionally has charter and private jet flights arriving.
In 2016, Wanaka Airport owners QLDC instigated a review of the airport’s Governance structure. The council presented four options to the community and highlighted that their preferred option was for QAC to be given a long term lease for Wanaka Airport. Public Consultation closed in November 2016 and the hearing for the Governance review was held on 13th February 2017. At a Council meeting on 24th April, councillors agreed to grant a long term lease to QAC which came into effective on the 1st April 2018.