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Airport

Westport Airport is located 8km to the south-west of Westport, or about a five-minute drive from the centre of town.

The airport caters for commercial, passenger and recreational operations. It provides for commercial and charter operations, aero-medical evacuations and transfers, and general aviation including training and recreational activities.

Westport Airport landing strip

Daily Sounds Air flights operate between Westport Airport and Wellington.

Westport Airport is a joint venture between the Buller District Council and the Ministry of Transport. The airport is managed and operated by the Buller District Council which oversees the daily operation.

You can find out about transport options to and from Westport Airport and the Buller region on our rental cars, buses and transport page.

About Westport Airport

The airport is occasionally used as an airfield for military operations and training, and is an essential point of entry for regional Civil Defence emergencies. The airfield has a sealed main runway and one grass taxiway.

The airfield navigation aids (DME and NDB) are provided and maintained by Airways Corporation of New Zealand under an agreement for services.

Westport Airport has an Emergency Response Plan to ensure that a well-co-ordinated response plan is available to airport users, airport staff, emergency agencies, and the community to respond in the event of an emergency.

Visitors are welcome to use the airport car park for free for up to three hours.

If you wish to leave a car for a longer period (more than 3-hours) the same day return rate is $5 and for overnight, it is $10 to a maximum of $50 per week. Six monthly and annual parking concessions are available for frequent users

All revenue gained from parking will be redirected to support the maintenance of airport infrastructure.

The full terms and conditions are available below:

Buller District Council and Sounds Air have been working in partnership to connect the West Coast with Wellington, since 2015.

Bookings need to be made directly with Sounds Air Reservations online or by calling 0800 505 005.

Sounds Air utilises a modern pressurised nine seat aircraft – the Pilatus PC12. This high class, turbo prop, single engine passenger plane is supported by the renowned Swiss company Pilatus International.

Sounds Air advice for passengers:

  • Plan to be at the airport a minimum of 40-45 minutes prior to departure. Check-in closes 30 minutes prior to departure, or passengers risk missing their flight.
  • Passengers are asked to bring ID to check-in, and provide a mobile number and contact email address, if possible.
  • Current government COVID restrictions apply. Masks are no longer required in Westport terminal or on-board flights. If you’re sick, or have been with anyone that’s sick, please stay home, get well, and travel at a later date.

Fuel facilities

A fuel facility offers Avgas and JetA1. Located near the terminal building, all aircraft operators can access this supply using a BP swipe card. To buy aviation fuel at the airport with a BP fuel card, the account needs to be first transferred over to RDP. Card holders can contact RDP on 0800 440014 or accounts@rdp.co.nz.

Non-aircraft operators will need to contact the airport manager to get access via main gate.

Runway lighting

The pilot activated runway lighting system can be turned on by approaching aircraft from 16kms away. To active the runway lights, transmit 5 pulses of 0.3 seconds duration within 3 seconds on PAL 119.1. Lights will be activated for 30 minutes.

Landing charges

Aviators using the airport will need to pay landing fees. Please check the AIP before landing at Westport Airport for operational information. 

Westport Airport Conditions of use

The conditions of use are applicable to all operators and users at the Westport Airport. View and download the Westport Airport Conditions of Use here.

Westport Airport Statement of Intent

The Statement of Intent for the Westport Airport for the year 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 is as follows:

Westport Airport is located in a stunning location with views of the Tasman Sea and the Paparoa Ranges, and it makes sense that people may want to capture this landscape with drones, for private or commercial reasons. However, restrictions apply. You need to understand the Civil Aviation Authority rules in relation to flying unmanned aircraft, as well as Westport Airport restrictions.

Drones are legally considered to be an aircraft. Anyone wanting to fly a drone needs to follow Civil Aviation Authority rules, Part 101 and Part 102. Complying with these rules will ensure you avoid fines and/or prosecution.

Westport Airport (as with all NZ Airports) has a 4km exclusion zone including Westport township and surrounding areas. Drones may be flown inside this zone only with the authorisation of the Airport Manager.

To request permission, you need to complete the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Authorisation form. This form needs to be completed, signed and sent to the Airport Manager via email at least 24 hours prior to all planned flights inside the exclusion zone.

For further information and to gain permission, contact the airport team on 02 1109 5331 or you can email christian.mclay@bdc.govt.nz .

The Emergency Response Plan sets out the responsibilities, command structure, communications and co-ordination functions required of various personnel and agencies involved in dealing with emergencies at the airport.