Hastings – Hub of Hawke’s Bay light aviation

Hastings' information office is here

Spanish mission-style architecture in Hastings. Airfield picture by Peter Scott

Hastings is known for its Spanish-style architecture. There are many local attractions, including wine trails, cycle trails, Splash Planet for the kids, and the gannets at Cape Kidnappers. Annual highlights are the city’s Blossom Festival in September and the New Zealand Horse of the Year Show in March. This is the largest horse show in the southern hemisphere. You’ll find a wide choice of accommodation and restaurants in and around the town.

There’s been an aerodrome at Bridge Pa since 1932, and today it is the centre of light aviation in Hawke’s Bay. It’s also the region’s focal point for pilot training and attracts national and international students. Bridge Pa – which lies in the middle of the Ngatarawa winery triangle – is owned and operated by the lively Hawke’s Bay and East Coast Aero Club, whose members always keep the airfield neat and tidy, and generate an active social scene.

The club operates Air Hawke’s Bay, which is the commercial training and charter part of its organisation and is an Air New Zealand Aviation Institute FTO partner. The aero club has, as part of its fleet, a Tecnam P92 Echo Super microlight, and a Rans S6 for hire. There are also a growing number of hangars on the field housing private recreational aircraft.

Display Day at Bridge Pa around 1934

Display Day at Bridge Pa around 1934.

Hastings Aerodrome is a busy place. Apart from the aero club, it’s the base for a gliding club, skydivers, two helicopter operators, aerial agricultural operators, Avionics Hawke’s Bay and Hawke’s Bay Aviation (aircraft engineers).

Bridge Pa is the official HQ of the Hawke’s Bay Microlight Club – the aero club welcomes its microlight cousins, and allows us to use its clubhouse for our meetings, held on the last Sunday of each month.

Microlight Club contacts: John White on 06 855 8354 or Trevor Doig 06 877 4899 and 027 444 0336

Aero Club: Office: 06 879 8466. The Club Captain is Dean Thompson on 06 877 9564, a full list of contacts is available on the website.

Aero Club website

Landing fee: None for private flights.

Taxi: Hastings Taxis on 06 878 5055 or Baywide Taxis on 0800 885533

Visitor information: Hastings i-Site

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