RNZAF Base Auckland
|RNZAF Base Auckland
|IATA: none – ICAO: NZWP|
|Operator||Royal New Zealand Air Force|
|Location||Whenuapai, New Zealand|
|Elevation AMSL||100 ft / 30 m|
RNZAF Base Auckland is a Royal New Zealand Air Force base located near the upper reaches of the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland, New Zealand. The base formerly comprised two separate airfields, Whenuapai and Hobsonville. Hobsonville was established as a seaplane station in 1928 and was the RNZAF's primary flying boat base in New Zealand until 1967. Construction of Whenuapai as a base for Wellington bomber aircraft began in 1937, and from 1945-1965 Whenuapai was also Auckland's civil international airport. Post World War II Auckland became a centre for RNZAF transport and maritime squadrons. These two independent bases were integrated in 1965 to form RNZAF Base Auckland. Hobsonville subsequently became a grass airfield for No. 3 Squadron RNZAF which has now moved to Ohakea. A NZ Army unit comprising various personnel from different regiments as well as the NZSAS base were relocated to Papakura Military Camp in 2003.[further explanation needed]
Whenuapai was expected to close as well, with the RNZAF being centralised at Ohakea. Infrastructure company Infratil and Waitakere local body leaders carried out feasibility studies to develop Whenuapai into a commercial airport if the RNZAF moved to Ohakea. In 2009 the government decided to retain the air force base at Whenuapai and implemented a reconstruction programme.
A significant reconstruction phase has begun at RNZAF Base Whenuapai since the start of 2011, major works have been carried out on the main runway, taxiways, and also the relocation of several units from RNZAF Base Hobsonville. Further development will ensure the RNZAF will remain at the present location. A significant government spending programme has been carried out to ensure the present base is brought up to standard.
In 2016 new facilities were under construction to replace those lost with the closure of RNZAF Base Hobsonville or closed due to non-compliance with increased earthquake safety standards introduced following the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake. This involves a brand new gymnasium, accommodation, a 25-metre weapons range, and a state of the art medical facility. All projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
Additional funding will also improve areas to the flight line and aprons after a $30 million upgrade on the main runway and taxiways was completed in 2012.
Personnel strength: around 1,100
Units based at Auckland
- Base Headquarters (formerly 485 Wing, formerly HQ Air Command)
- No. 5 Squadron RNZAF Maritime surveillance (P-3K2 Orion)
- No. 6 Squadron RNZAF Naval aviation capability (Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite)
- No. 40 Squadron RNZAF Air Transport (C-130H Hercules and Boeing 757)
- HQ Logistics Wing
- RNZAF Operations Squadron
- RNZAF Parachute Training and Support Unit
- RNZAF Force Protection Military Working Dog Training School
- RNZAF Aviation Medicine Unit
- RNZAF Survival Training Centre
- NZDF Military Police
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