Wānaka Airport businesses generate $69.6 million, launch new website

May 12, 2023

New website launched:  www.wanakaairport.info

An independent study published yesterday reveals that businesses based at Wānaka Airport generate $69.6 million in revenue and employ 147 people in full time positions.

These figures and others were released by the Wānaka Airport Users Group (“WAUG”), which has also launched a website with further detail about the Wānaka Airport community.

The survey of WAUG members was conducted over summer, and asked all private pilots, aircraft owners and businesses at the airport to confidentially share information about their activities at Wānaka Airport.

It is the first time that an accurate picture of the airport community has been collated and shared with the wider community.

Amongst other information released:

  • There are a total of 713 suppliers (many of them local) providing goods and services to businesses at the airport.

  • The combined annual salary paid by businesses based at Wānaka Airport to local employees is $9.3 million.

  • The estimated value of the 65 commercial aircraft based at the airport is $57 million.

  • There is a combined total of 1,594 years of flying experience amongst pilots at Wānaka Airport, including pilots of the 72 private aircraft based there.

  • Nearly three quarters of the businesses based at the airport are confidently projecting growth.

WAUG chair, Don Grant, says that the numbers are indicative of a “vibrant and growing” community of commercial businesses and private users at the airport. “Our community airport has grown over many decades, and has become a vibrant hub for commercial and private aviation.” 

Image (Supplied/Wānaka Airport Users Group): A bird's-eye  view of Wānaka Airport.

“Everyone knows about Warbirds Over Wānaka, which is a fabulous event, but there is also a lot more going on out here every day. It’s clear that the activity at the airport has tangible benefits back into the Wānaka community. As well as all the private aviation, we have a broad range of aviation related businesses, including flight training schools, engineering businesses and other aircraft experts.” 

Mr Grant says that the group wanted to help people understand the scale and value of “what goes on in the hangars” at the airport. “On the aircraft maintenance side alone, each year there are hundreds of aircraft maintained by businesses at this airport. There are also hundreds of people who have learnt to fly helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft here.”

The group has launched the results of its study, along with other information, on a new website about Wānaka Airport also launched today. In the coming months, it will also launch a digital history of Wānaka Airport, dating right back to “the first planes to land here, long before it was an airport.”

Mr Grant says that it’s important that people understand the history of the airport. “We’re capturing all of this rich information as it’s a key part of the airport community’s rich history, and indeed the history of the Upper Clutha.”

The new website is found at www.wanakaairport.info


Main image (Supplied/Twenty24 Limited): The estimated value of the 65 commercial aircraft based at the airport is $57 million.

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