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FIRST — New Zealand’s First Licensed Scheduled Air Service — Haast Junction, New Zealand
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Dunbar Loop
S 43° 51.661 E 169° 02.753
59G E 342963 N 5141707
Quick Description: In 1934 Bert Mercer took off in Hokitika and flew to Haast inaugurating New Zealand’s First Licensed Scheduled Air Service. This service lasted until the late 1960s when the Haast Highway provided an alternative to air travel to South Westland.
Location: South Island, New Zealand
Date Posted: 1/18/2010 1:48:34 PM
Waymark Code: WM830C
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Zork V
Views: 5

Long Description:
Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of New Zealand’s First Licensed Scheduled Air Service

On 18 December 1934, pioneer airline Air Travel (NZ) Ltd, founded by Captain J.C. (Bert) Mercer, commenced air services from Hokitika to South Westland with de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth ZK-ADI.

Places on the early scheduled service were, at various times, Whataroa, Waiho (Franz Josef), Weheka (Fox Glacier), Bruce Bay, Haast, Upper Okuru, Ohuru (Mussel Point) and Jackson Bay.

The air service was taken over by New Zealand National Airways Corporation (NAC) in 1947 and by West Coast Airways Ltd (WCA) in 1956.

Nearby Haast Aerodrome was the main southern terminus for the passenger, airmail, freight and air-ambulance service provided by Air Travel, NAC and WCA. The air service greatly reduced the isolation of all who lived in South Westland, before any road access was completed.

The world’s longest running de Havilland biplane air service ended in March 1967, due to the effects of the new Haast Highway.

Dedicated on 19 December 2009.

FIRST - Classification Variable: Item or Event

Date of FIRST: 12/18/1934

More Information - Web URL: [Web Link]

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