Our history

Ardmore Airport through the ages.

Ardmore has played a leading role in New Zealand’s aviation story.

From 1943 to today, Ardmore’s history spans generations of aviation. We’ve been the stomping ground of WWII fighter pilots and Grand Prix drivers, Empire Games athletes and pioneering engineers. And today, we remain a central powerhouse of the New Zealand aviation industry.

  • 1943

  • 1947

  • 1950

  • 1952

  • 1954

  • 1960

  • 1965

  • 1995

  • 2023

An icon of New Zealand aviation

  • While Ardmore enjoys a predominantly rural environment, it also lies in close proximity to Papakura, Manukau, and Auckland’s CBD. Approximately 20% of the country’s population is within 30 minutes’ reach – making Ardmore’s potential client base, both recreational and commercial, the largest in New Zealand.

  • Over 600 people are employed on Ardmore’s grounds, across more than 95 airport tenants. Our tenants span industries such as engineering, repairs and maintenance, and (of course) aviation. Businesses include flying schools, air charter services, aircraft sales, and more. Many of our tenants have been with us for 20 to 30 years. This thriving business network has helped us evolve into the premier general aviation airport we are today. It’s vital to our success – both up until now, and into the future.

  • As a training centre for the aviation industry, Ardmore is second to none. A significant number of New Zealand pilots undergo their training at Ardmore. We currently have two large helicopter schools and four major fixed wing flying schools on-site, including Ardmore Flying School. Student pilots flock to Ardmore – not only from all over New Zealand, but from all over the world. Most spend around 18 months completing their courses. During this time they’re generally based around the local districts, bringing economic benefits directly to the community.

  • Ardmore is a popular recreational resource. Its convenient location and unique facilities give both enthusiasts and newcomers the chance to explore all aviation has to offer. Our open days bring thousands of members of the public to Airdmore every year, where spectators can explore our NZ Warbirds and immerse themselves in our history.

  • As many as 40 classic NZ Warbirds are housed in Ardmore Visitor Centre. Ardmore Airport is the only place in the greater Auckland area where these historic aircraft can be viewed in a safe and controlled environment. This makes the Airport a significant resource for Warbird enthusiasts, and a large number of tour groups visit regularly.

    From January to April each year, Ardmore becomes the country’s major NZ Warbirds activity base. Numerous Warbirds take off from Ardmore, to go forth and demonstrate their aircraft and flying skills at Airshows around the country – with events including the renowned Warbirds over Wanaka.

    The public can also enjoy scenic flights over Auckland in the classic Dakota/DC3, which departs from Ardmore. Contact Fly DC3 for information on flights and tours.

Come fly with us

Experience all New Zealand’s premier aviation facility has to offer.