Formerly Air New Zealand Link had flights to Auckland, operated by Eagle Airways with Beech 1900D aircraft. In November 2014, Air New Zealand announced that it will cease operating the Auckland-Whakatane route from April 2015. Following the announcement, numerous airlines including Sunair expressed interest in continuing the route themselves. This resulted in Air Chathams announcing in January 2015 a twice-daily service to Auckland, starting at the end of April.
The airport also houses a flight school, agricultural aircraft and commercial helicopter operations.
The "excitingly different" terminal building was designed by Roger Walker and completed in 1974.