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Project Takitini

- Construction Work Commences

RNZAF Chief of Air Force, AVM Graham Lintott, ‘turning the first sod’ at the construction site for the new No 3 Squadron hangar at Base Ohakea. CAF marked the occasion by demonstrating the flexibility of a helicopter pilot’s hand-eye coordination in operating a large hydraulic digger. OH-09-0423-002.
CAF operating a digger

By GPCAPT Graham Poucher

Exciting changes are literally sprouting out of the ground at both Ohakea and Whenuapai as part of Project Takitini. With its genesis crystallising from the Government’s decision to develop key infrastructure at Base Ohakea in December 2007, the Government has taken that initiative one step further in 2009, by committing to a number of urgent works to upgrade specific areas at Base Auckland.

The realisation of this NZDF work is being undertaken by the Takitini Project Management Office and essentially falls into two categories - the Essential Infrastructure Projects (EIPs) at Base Ohakea, and the Whenuapai Upgrade Works (WUW). As Project Director for Takitini, I meet every month with both the Vice Chief of Defence Force and Chief of Air Force to report on the project’s progress. Needless to say, Project Takitini is making excellent progress!

RNZAF personnel, particularly those based at Ohakea or who have visited it recently, would have noticed the ‘sprouting’ from the ground of several concrete columns that will form the superstructure of the new No 3 Squadron building. This building alone will be about 8,700 m2 (by comparison the existing concrete hangar that No 3 Squadron currently resides in is about 5,500 m2).

The new facilities represent the single largest construction project on an RNZAF Base since World War II. The facility will provide a home for the new A109 and NH90 helicopters. Ebert Construction Limited has been awarded the contract to construct the new facilities and there is no time to waste.

The works are programmed to be completed by July 2010 - weather and other contingencies permitting - and every day will be needed to meet that timeframe.

Whenuapai Upgrade Works

The following projects have been approved:

  • Overlay of Runway
    Completed in August 2008.
  • Construction of a new airfield perimeter fence
    The fence construction is completed. Further work will be undertaken this coming summer to complete culvert work and excavation work at the west end of the runway (to enable the fence construction and to avoid interference with flight paths).
  • Airfield works
    This includes the refurbishment and/or reconstruction of Taxiways A, B, C, D, G, H and Runway 03/21 plus new airfield lighting and PAPI systems.
  • Relocation of DBFI to new facilities at Ohakea
  • New MSS Workshops (Stage One)
  • New MT Operations facilities, and
  • Design (only) for new Bulk Fuel storage facilities.
    The facilities will be constructed in 2013.

Base Ohakea Essential Infrastructure Programme

The following projects have been approved:

  • Construction of a new airfield perimeter fence and duty centre at Ohakea
    The perimeter fence is substantially complete and the remaining work along Pukenui Road will be completed later this year. The duty centre is designed and construction will commence in about three months time, to be in full operation by mid 2010.
  • New PABX Building
    A design is complete and awaiting final comment from CIS Branch before a building consent is applied for and tenders are invited for construction.
  • New No 3 Squadron Headquarters
    This project will include offices, a workshop and hangars for eight NH90 and five A109 aircraft, and a new Simulator building.
  • New MSS Building
    Mission Support Squadron personnel have been working hard to document their specific requirements for the building which, at over 11,000sqm, will be the largest in the NZDF. Construction of this building is programmed to commence during 2010.
  • New Air Movements Building
    This building will include facilities for processing both passengers and air cargo. To be situated on the space currently occupied by MSS facilities following the demolition of No’s 4 and 5 hangars.
  • New In-flight Kitchen
    Design to be updated to comply with current standards.

Image Gallery - Issue 107