Home News Onehunga’s rock star connection - Keith Stephens from Advanced Flight

Onehunga’s rock star connection - Keith Stephens from Advanced Flight



Flying rock stars like Mick Jagger and U2 around the North Island have been highlights for CEO of Advanced Flight Ltd, Keith Stephens. 

Advanced Flight’s base, the award winning Auckland Heliport at the end of Miami Parade, is one of the less well-known parts of Auckland’s transport infrastructure. But with around a dozen helicopters, mostly Bell or Airbus models, flying from the heliport, it is a very busy operation. 

The heliport’s location should not surprise long-term Onehunga residents, as it is roughly where the Pike’s Point airstrip used to be. Advanced Flight, which started flying in 1999, moved to Onehunga in March 2010 and the purpose-built heliport won the Commercial Architecture category in the 2011 New Zealand Architecture Awards,

Keith says Onehunga is the “…ideal location for a heliport.” Miami Parade is in the middle of a huge industrial zone, so the noise of the helicopters is not an issue, meaning can fly in and out of the heliport at almost any time. The Manukau Harbour gives an easy and safe approach to the flight apron, while being in central Auckland means easy access for clients, as well as students of its growing pilot school. Additionally, it is just a short ‘hop’ from the heliport to Auckland Airport to pick up international VIPs.

He adds that Onehunga is an ideal location for flying round the top half of the North Island, and so Advanced Flight is primarily a passenger airline, carrying business people or international travellers and sightseers. Luxury ‘hideaways’ such as Huka Falls Lodge near Taupo or Eagles Nest in the Bay of Islands are only an hour’s flight time from Onehunga, so they have some very famous clients, including numerous movie and rock stars, “hopping a lift.” 











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