|Owner||Waitaki District Council|
|Operator||New Zealand CAA|
|Elevation AMSL||99 ft / 30 m|
Oamaru Airport (IATA: OAM, ICAO: NZOU) is an airport located 20 km north of Oamaru just alongside of state highway 1, at Hilderthorpe in the North Otago region and the Waitaki District of New Zealand.
On 10 December 1960 South Pacific Airlines of New Zealand commenced a Douglas DC-3 service linking Oamaru north to Timaru and Christchurch and south to Alexandra and Invercargill. Later a stop in Gore was added. These flights ended on 28 February 1966. Later that day Mount Cook Airlines (MCA) took over also using DC-3 aircraft, serving Timaru and Christchurch.
In October 1968 Mount Cook Airline began using the 52 seater HS-748 aircraft into Oamaru.
A new sealed runway at the Oamaru Airport was passed as fully operational in March 1975.
When scheduled services resumed in 2006 and the first BAe Jetstream 32EP arrived from Christchurch (operated by Air National on behalf of Eagle Airways) a crowd of approximately 500 people were present to view its landing. The aircraft operating the inaugural service was renamed The Spirit of Waitaki in honour of the reintroduction of services to Oamaru. However, regular commercial flights to Oamaru were again withdrawn on 1 January 2010.
The North Otago Aero Club has been operating from the Oamaru Airport since 1956, and offers charter flights to Dunedin, Christchurch and Queenstown International Airports. In addition its Air Transport license allows flights to any airport in New Zealand. The main drawback with the club's service is that the small aircraft can only take two passengers.
Timeline of services
The town has been through a lot of hurdles to gain then lose its air service forcing residents to either travel south to Dunedin or north to Timaru to catch a flight.
- 1975: NAC (later Air New Zealand) begins flights to Wellington via Timaru using Fokker Friendship aircraft.
- 1 April 1990: Air New Zealand ends Fokker Friendship flights to Oamaru.
- 23 April 1990: Air Nelson takes over flights with Metroliner aircraft.
- 28 October 1991: Air Nelson ends flights and Oamaru is left without a commercial air service.
- 1991-2006: Various options explored to reinstate air service.
- 2005-2006: Waitaki District Council spends about $500,000 upgrading runway, terminal building and other facilities.
- 2006: Waitaki Mayor Alan McLay starts negotiations for a new air service.
- 20 June 2006: Eagle Airways announces a new service to Christchurch using its Beech 1900 and occasionally Air National Jetstream 32 aircraft were used.
- 7 August 2006: First Beech 1900 flight lands at Oamaru to be greeted by about 120 people.
- 18 May 2009: Eagle Airways changes schedule amid fears service is in financial trouble.
- 13 October 2009: Eagle Airways announces service will end from 1 January 2010.
- 1 January 2010: After making an announcement in October 2009, Eagle Airways withdraws service from Oamaru.
- 4 June 2014: Mainland Air commences their short lived scheduled flights to Christchurch which ended in August.
- Oamaru Mail, 28 February 1966
- Oamaru Mail, 6 March 1975
- "Press Release: Oamaru Airport Ready for Business". Archived from the original on 14 October 2008.
- Oamaru back on the flight radar Archived video footage accompanying news item by TVNZ, 6 August 2006, TV ONE New Zealand
- "Oamaru air service axed (page 1) | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News". Odt.co.nz. 14 October 2009. Archived from the original on 31 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- "Oamaru air service axed (page 2) | Otago Daily Times Online News : Otago, South Island, New Zealand & International News". Odt.co.nz. 2009-10-14. Retrieved 2016-01-30.
- Bruce, David (22 Aug 2014). "Mainland flights to end". Otago Daily Times.
- NZ AIP Volume 3 or 4, NZOU AD 2