Emergency helicopter and ambulance station for airport
12 September 2013
Emergency helicopter and ambulance station to be established at Whangarei airport.
Northland Emergency Services Trust (NEST) and Whangarei District Council (WDC) are pleased to announce plans to establish helicopter and ambulance services at Whangarei Airport.
John Bain, Chairman of NEST said his organisation had enjoyed a 25 year working relationship with Council and over the past few years had been working closely on a project to develop helicopter services at the Whangarei District Airport.
“There are still a few steps to go through, but we’ve made great progress together.
“The first part of the plan would be the permanent location of the St John ambulance service at the airport, providing quick response to residents of the Onerahi and Whangarei Heads area,” he said.
“During the past five weeks St John has trialed basing the ambulance service at the Onerahi Fire Station and they have seen some really positive results.
“Over the next 10 years we plan to build a hangar as a permanent home for the helicopters.
“As NEST is a charitable trust it will need to seek funding for this development. Now that the agreement on location has been reached with Council we will be able to start applying for funding.
“This has been a very progressive period of talks between NEST and WDC and it really is a win:win situation.
“The airport facility will allow us to expand our management of helicopters locally and will bring several families into the District.
“At the moment our helicopters are serviced in Auckland so being able to bring this capability into the District is fantastic,” Mr Bain said.
Acting Whangarei Mayor Phil Halse said that Council’s 30/50 Growth strategy is about planning for the future, and this is another example of making decisions today that will enhance the District into the future.
“We are providing long term certainty for NEST that will benefit the whole of Northland and having the St John facility established at the airport to service Whangarei Heads and Onerahi is a great step.
“It also allows for further development of Kensington Park,” he said.
“And we can see real economic spins offs of this development for the District.
“Recently Air New Zealand has started flying the bigger Q300 Bombardier aircraft into Whangarei.
“Having further aviation capability here will boost confidence and encourage further development,” he said.
Mr Halse and Mr Bain said that both community organisations were delighted to be contributing to the development of the aviation industry locally.