Palmerston North International Airport

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Palmerston North Airport
Air traffic control tower for PMR/NZPM
PMR is located in North Island
Location of airport in North Island
Airport type Public
Operator Palmerston North Airport
Location Palmerston North
Elevation AMSL 151 ft / 46 m
Coordinates 40°19′14″S 175°37′01″E / 40.32056°S 175.61694°E / -40.32056; 175.61694
Direction Length Surface
ft m
07L/25R 6,240 1,902 Asphalt
07R/25L 1,995 608 Grass
Statistics (2011)
Passengers 449,090
Movements 65,708

Palmerston North Airport (IATA: PMRICAO: NZPM) is located on the outskirts of the city in the suburb of Milson in Palmerston North, New Zealand, 5 km (3.1 mi) north-east of the City central area. Although the airport has not had a regular international flight since the end of March 2008, the official name, Palmerston North Airport still remains. Palmerston North Airport chief executive Darin Cusack said they provided day-to-day back up for Wellington Airport when flights were diverted. It hosted about 130 diversions a year. Even though it no longer had regular international flights, it was able to host international services on a "gas and go" basis which left passengers waiting on board until aircraft got clearance to continue to Wellington. It would be able to step up to handle passengers if the closure in Wellington was going to be extended.[2] The airport handled 542,816 passengers for the year ending 31 December 2006 (461,542 domestic and 81,274 international)[3]


The first airfield on this site was created by the Milson Aerodrome Society in 1931, comprising a grass runway. It was used exclusively for private flights. The first commercial flights began in 1936, operated by Union Airways, and the airport was also used as a military facility in World War II. When the National Airways Corporation began using the airport in the 1950s the runway was sealed and a terminal building was constructed; jets started landing at the airport in 1975, beginning with a Boeing 737. A new terminal was constructed in 1992 and regular international flights began being offered in 1996. A Royal Brunei Airlines Boeing 767 landed at the airport on 10 March 2003, making it the first 767 to land at the airport. Since Freedom Air was scrapped, no carrier has served the airport with scheduled international flights.

World record[edit]

On 17 May 1998, ten people towed a fully fuelled Freedom Air Boeing 737-300 over 100 metres in 47 seconds, to celebrate the opening of the new runway extensions. The record was logged in the Guinness World Records.


There were two regular international services departing from this airport, to Sydney and Brisbane operated by Freedom Air, however services ended in March 2008.[4] Previously, flights also operated to Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and Nadi. The airport also receives a number of domestic flights. Flights from Air Post, Air Freight, Massey University's School of Aviation, commuter airlines such as Air2there, Vincent Aviation and Rescue Fire Services also use Palmerston North Airport. The airport is also used for training purposes by RNZAF squadrons based at the nearby Ohakea base.


Eagle Airways Beechcraft 1900 at Palmerston North Airport.

The current terminal is a two storey building containing:

  • a cafeteria and bar
  • a duty-free shop (No Longer Operational)
  • a bookstore
  • a Union Airways Gallery exhibition of early commercial flight in New Zealand
  • an Air New Zealand Koru Lounge

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air New Zealand Link operated by Air Nelson Auckland, Christchurch, Nelson
Air New Zealand Link operated by Eagle Airways Hamilton, Nelson (ends 6 February 2015),[5] Wellington
Air New Zealand Link operated by Mount Cook Airline Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton


Airlines Destinations
Air Freight NZ Auckland, Christchurch
Air Post Auckland, Dunedin, Wellington

Prospective Flights[edit]

Tauranga Airport, Air New Zealand Link and Palmerston North Airport are in discussions to commence flights between Palmerston North and Tauranga [6]


See also[edit]


External links[edit]