Home News An eye in the sky – Police Eagle helicopter service to land in Onehunga

An eye in the sky – Police Eagle helicopter service to land in Onehunga


There are mixed feelings among local residents about the relocation of the police helicopter service from Mechanics Bay on Tamaki Drive, to the Auckland Heliport on Miami Parade in Onehunga. While some are worried about the potential increase in noise, especially during the night, others say it is an essential service, and a fact of life in a big city like Auckland.

The move is necessary because the lease at Mechanics Bay has changed hands, and despite lengthy negotiations, a new agreement was unable to be reached to keep the service on the same site. Late last year, New Zealand Police announced that a new operator had been chosen, and the service will start running from Onehunga in July 2019.

Advanced Flight has been running its business out of Auckland Heliport since March 2010.  It is one of New Zealand’s largest helicopter businesses, and it provides charter helicopter flights to tourists and business people. It is also used as a refuelling base for rescue helicopters. CEO Keith Stephens would not confirm whether it is the new Eagle operator “for security reasons”. 

In an interview with Onehunga Community News in 2017, he said that Onehunga is the “ideal location for a heliport.”  It is in the middle of a huge industrial zone, so the noise of the helicopters is not an issue; they can fly in and out of the heliport at almost any time. The Manukau Harbour provides a safe and easy approach to the flight apron, and there is easy access from central Auckland.

Inspector Jim Wilson, Acting District Commander for Auckland City Police, says they 

are all determined to make the transition as seamless as possible. 

"The Police Eagle helicopter will continue to serve the community as our ‘eye in the sky’, monitoring activity 24/7 and helping keep the public safe.

“The relocation to Onehunga will see our Air Support Unit continue to be based in Auckland City District and there will not be a significant impact to response times to jobs around Tamaki Makaurau and further afield,” says Inspector Wilson.













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