Palmerston North 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 (2014)
Passengers 484,890
Movements tbc

Palmerston North Airport (IATA: PMRICAO: NZPM), originally called Milson Aerodrome, lies in the suburb of Milson, on the outskirts of Palmerston North, in New Zealand. The airport is 100% owned by the Palmerston North City Council and covers an area of 208ha, 5.0 km NE from the CBD of Palmerston North City. The airport is New Zealand’s 7th busiest and handled a total of 484,890 passengers in 2013. The airport processes up to 40 commercial passenger flights per day to and from Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and Christchurch.

The airport operates two runways, a sealed 1902m runway and a parallel grass 608m runway, which is utilised for general aviation and training activities by Massey University’s School of Aviation, Helipro and Eagle Aviation. Operating 24/7 with no curfews imposed, the airport has become a freight hub for Air Freight NZ and NZ Post.

Common aircraft using Palmerston North Airport are ATR72, Bombardier Q300 and Beechcraft 1900D. The airport is a 'Lifeline' airport providing a divert destination for other New Zealand regional airports with a '99.9% open for operations' record. In addition to the normal aircraft types, the airport is able to cater for Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft. The airport accommodates charters including business jets through to the larger Airbus A320 aircraft.


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 ceased operations in 2008, 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.


Eagle Airways Beechcraft 1900 at Palmerston North Airport.

The current terminal is a modern and spacious two storey building containing:

  • a licensed cafe and bar, open daily from 5.30am
  • a bookshop and travel convenience store
  • an Air New Zealand Regional Koru Lounge
  • free Wi-Fi in the terminal
  • 24/7 automated parking
  • five rental car agencies on-site
  • two meeting rooms for casual hire
  • a family room
  • and a Union Airways Gallery exhibition of early commercial flight in New Zealand

Airlines and destinations[edit]

Airlines Destinations
Air New Zealand Link operated by Air Nelson Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington (begins 2 April 2016)
Air New Zealand Link operated by Eagle Airways Hamilton, Wellington
Air New Zealand Link operated by Mount Cook Airline Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton
Originair Nelson[2]


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


See also[edit]


External links[edit]