Helicopter operators to move operations out of Rotorua Airport

Helicopters have moved operations out the airport of Rotarua in New Zealand, with the airport transfer now scheduled for January 25.

Auckland Airport said in a statement the new move would save the Auckland Helicopter Operators Association (AHA) and the Rotoru Helicopter Association (RHA) $1.5 million.

It would also give the airport an additional $2.4 million for new aircraft and equipment to run services to and from Rotoruka.

The AHA had called on Rotoruku Airport’s chief executive officer, Mark Storz, to “urgently” address the lack of a helicopter flight operations centre in the Auckland area.

“It is critical that Auckland Airport continue to support Rotoruhai and the RHA by establishing an operational centre and a new helicopter service for the Rotaruanans and New Zealanders of Rotora, as well as a dedicated flight operations facility to serve the Rotora population,” the statement said.

“There is a growing demand for helicopter service across the city of Rotorah and we need to ensure Auckland Airport is able to support that need.”

In September, Auckland Airport said it would begin a five-year plan to move its helicopter operations from Rotora to Auckland Airport, with more than 50 helicopters scheduled to be delivered in 2019.