RNZAF Base Auckland

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RNZAF Base Auckland
Air Force Ensign of New Zealand.svg
Te kotahitanga o ngaa maahanga
Unification of the twins
Whenuapai Airfield From The Air.jpg
Maori:Te kotahitanga o ngaa maahanga
English:The unification of the twins
Summary
Airport type Military
Owner New Zealand Defence Force
Operator Air Force Ensign of New Zealand.svg Royal New Zealand Air Force
Serves Auckland, New Zealand
Location Whenuapai, New Zealand
Occupants
Elevation AMSL 100 ft / 30 m
Coordinates 36°47′16″S 174°37′49″E / 36.78778°S 174.63028°E / -36.78778; 174.63028Coordinates: 36°47′16″S 174°37′49″E / 36.78778°S 174.63028°E / -36.78778; 174.63028
Website www.airforce.mil.nz
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
03/21 6,665 2,031 Asphalt
08/26 5,187 1,581 Asphalt

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, the hangars being built in 1939,[1] 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 New Zealand Special Air Service 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.[2]

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.

A member of the RNZAF Parachute Training and Support Unit trails the air force flag during the air show at Whenuapai in March 2009.

Personnel strength: around 1500

Flying Squadrons[edit]

Flying Squadrons[edit]

Squadron Aircraft Role
No. 5 Squadron P-3 Orion Maritime Surveillance
No. 6 Squadron Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprite Naval Aviation
No. 40 Squadron C-130 Hercules, Boeing 757 Tactical and Strategic transport.

Other Units[edit]

A No. 40 Squadron Boeing 757–200 in 2006

References[edit]

  1. ^ "News Of The Day.". Auckland Star. 1939-03-01. p. 6. Retrieved 2016-06-04. 
  2. ^ "Cabinet confirms plans for Whenuapai". Scoop. 31 March 2009. 

External links[edit]