28 Feb 2015

Whenuapai airport still possible - airline chief

6:34 am on 28 February 2015

The chief executive of a new regional airline being set up says he has not given up hope of the Whenuapai military airbase being used for commercial flights.

Kiwi Regional Airlines wants to fly from Whenuapai to Wellington, but Defence Minister, Gerry Brownlee said he had no plans to change the airbase's status.

The carrier's CEO, Ewan Wilson, said he would keep trying to change the Government's mind.

"It still remains a goal for us. Governments come and go, we're not quite sure of what makes Whenuapai so unique. The military base at Woodbourne, Blenheim operates for both civilian and military use."

Mr Wilson said the start-up airline was still planning to apply for consent to fly routes abandoned by Air New Zealand, including between Auckland, Hamilton, Nelson and Queenstown, as-well-as between Tauranga, Palmerston North and Blenheim.

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