Nelson Airport (New Zealand)

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Nelson Airport
Te Papa Waka Rererangi o Whakatū
Nelson, New Zealand 1977.jpg
Nelson Airport, 1977


NSN is located in New Zealand Marlborough
Location of airport in the northern South Island
Airport type Public
Operator Nelson Airport Limited
Location Nelson, New Zealand
Elevation AMSL 17 ft / 5 m
Coordinates 41°17′54″S 173°13′16″E / 41.29833°S 173.22111°E / -41.29833; 173.22111Coordinates: 41°17′54″S 173°13′16″E / 41.29833°S 173.22111°E / -41.29833; 173.22111
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02R/20L 1,347 4,420 Asphalt
02L/20R 731 2,398 Grass/Dirt
06/24 670 2,200 Grass/Dirt
17/35 600 1,970 Grass/Dirt
Statistics (2012)
Passengers 776,448
Sources: Airport,[1] AIP,[2] DAFIF,[3][4][5]

Nelson Airport (Māori: Te Papa Waka Rererangi o Whakatū, (IATA: NSNICAO: NZNS)) is located 6 km southwest of the city, in the suburb of Annesbrook, in Nelson, New Zealand. Approximately 1.2 million passengers and visitors use the airport terminal annually.[6] Total passenger numbers for the 2011 financial year were 758,250. This represents passenger growth of approximately 11% on the previous year.[5] It is currently the sixth busiest airport in New Zealand by passengers and seventh by aircraft movements.

Construction of Nelson Airport commenced in 1937.[7] In 2006, the airport received restricted international airport status and it has handled international private jets since then. In terms of scheduled aircraft movements Nelson is the eighth busiest airport in New Zealand. The airport averages 80 aircraft movements each day, with an aircraft departing or arriving on average every six minutes during scheduled hours.[8]

Nelson airport is the home base of Air Nelson operating under the Air NZ Link banner, which operates a fleet of Bombardier Dash 8 Q300s on national air routes. Air New Zealand, Air Nelson's parent airline, recently expanded its Nelson base, investing 30 million dollars to develop the engineering and technical workshops. Air New Zealand then announced the Air Nelson maintenance facility would also handle fellow subsidiary Mount Cook Airline's fleet of ATR 72-500/600 aircraft.[9]

The airport has a single terminal building with 9 tarmac gates. A further 7 remote gates are located adjacent to the terminal.

In 2014, Nelson City Council deemed the main terminal of Nelson Airport an earthquake risk and at fault of possible liquefaction. The airport has been granted 10 years to upgrade the terminal to meet current building standards.[10]

Nelson Airport terminal in 2012

Airlines and destinations[edit]


Airlines Destinations
Adventure Flights Golden Bay Charter: Karamea, Takaka[11]
Air New Zealand Link operated by Air Nelson Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington
Air New Zealand Link operated by Mount Cook Airline Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington
Air2there Blenheim, Kapiti Coast
Golden Bay Air Charter: Karamea, Takaka[12]
Sounds Air Wellington, Kapiti Coast (Begins 15th June 2015) [13]

Air New Zealand operate daily up to ten flights to Auckland, thirteen flights to Wellington and seven flights to Christchurch.[14]

As Nelson is a maintenance hub for Mount Cook Airline's ATR 72 aircraft, occasional Air Nelson Q300 services are changed to the ATR 72 if the aircraft needs a check in Nelson.

On 17 September 2013, the idea for a potential Auckland, Nelson and Queenstown air link was raised with Air New Zealand's chief executive.[15]


Sounds Air offer a number of scenic and charter flight services out of Nelson. Popular charters are Blenheim, Picton, Karamea and Awaroa. Sounds Air provides the main air link into Awaroa for Awaroa Lodge.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nelson Airport, official site
  2. ^ Charts for NZNS at AIP New Zealand
  3. ^ Airport information for NZNS at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.Source: DAFIF.
  4. ^ Airport information for NSN / NZNS at Great Circle Mapper. Source: AIP, CAA, DAFIF.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ Welcome to Nelson Airport
  7. ^ Nelson Aerodrome, Evening Post, Volume CXXIII, Issue 32, 8 February 1937, Page 7
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Air Nelson to be given leeway over expansion". The Nelson Mail. Retrieved 27 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "Airport has 10 years to upgrade terminal". Nelson Mail. 11 June 2014. 
  11. ^ Adventure Flights Golden Bay - Heaphy Flights Walk
  12. ^ Golden Bay Air - Heaphy Track
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Sounds Air

External links[edit]

A Beechcraft 1900 lifting off from Nelson Airport in New Zealand.