Wellington International Airport (formerly known as Rongotai Airport) is an international airport located in the suburb of Rongotai in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. It lies 3 NM or 5.5 km south-east from the city centre. It is a hub for Air New Zealand and its subsidiaries. Wellington International Airport Limited, a joint venture between Infratil and the Wellington City Council, operates the airport.
Wellington is the third busiest airport in New Zealand (after Auckland and Christchurch) handling a total of 6,049,194 passengers in the year ending 31 March 2017. It is the second busiest airport in New Zealand for IFR movements (84,070 in 2013). Auckland is the busiest (105,403) with Christchurch third (68,764).
The airport, in addition to linking many New Zealand destinations with national and regional carriers, also has links to major cities in eastern Australia. It is the home of some smaller general aviation businesses, including the Wellington Aero Club which operates from the general aviation area on the western side of the runway.
The airport comprises a small 110 ha site on the Rongotai isthmus, a stretch of low-lying land between Wellington proper and the Miramar Peninsula. It operates a single 2081 m runway with ILS in both directions. The airport handles turboprop, narrow-body and wide-body jet aircraft movements. The airport is bordered by residential and commercial areas to the east and west, and by Wellington Harbour and Cook Strait to the north and south respectively.
Wellington has a reputation for sometimes rough and turbulent landings, even in larger aircraft, due to the channelling effect of Cook Strait creating strong and gusty winds, especially in pre frontal north westerly conditions.
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