An event that captured the imagination at the Rotorua Bike Festival in 2015 is back in February.

The Runway Project will be held at Rotorua Airport on Saturday, 13 February and entries open at 5pm today at project.

It's like a mini-festival of cycling, including a unique chance to ride on the airport runway. From volunteers to riders to sponsors it is a real community event.

Air New Zealand supports the Runway Project.


"Air New Zealand is delighted to support this collaborative initiative," said Ian Collier, Regional Affairs Manager for Air New Zealand.

"It's great to be part of the Rotorua Bike Festival which sees the airport and community working together to celebrate cycling in a unique way."

Rotorua Airport Chief Executive Nicole Brewer said it was great for the airport to be part of the Rotorua Bike Festival.

"It's fantastic to support a local event and one that means so much to our community and economy. Hosting the event again is a way we can be involved and also encourage people to experience the airport from a different vantage point," she said.

"It's unique and a fun way to give back to the community that we are a significant part of."

The afternoon will open with the Bike Music Stage, food and other bike oriented activity. Then, it will be the chance for enthusiasts young and old to take part in Ride the Runway. It's free to register online.

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There will be more than $2000 of spa, gym and beauty therapy vouchers to win on the day from Rotorua's QE Health, as well as a $1000 travel voucher provided by Air New Zealand.

Holland Beckett Lawyers is backing the straight-line, drag race Flying Kilos, with a 'People's' category for all-comers and another for Elites, with some of New Zealand's top competitive cyclists competing.

"The People's Flying Kilo is free for entrants in Sunday's Bike the Lake event and only $10 for others," said event director, Jason Cameron.

"The Elite race is restricted to 20 male and female riders and is by application only with cash prizes up for grabs."

The first Runway Project at the 2015 festival was a rousing success, he said.

"We were amazed by the response, with over 1000 riders and another 600 people enjoying the action on a gorgeous evening in Rotorua, with the sun setting over the lake," Mr Cameron said.

"It was thrilling to see the enthusiasm of both kids and grown-ups enjoying the experience. We're planning to take that to another level this year."

One of New Zealand's greatest cyclists, Julian Dean, will be back in February, not to race, but to take the opportunity to ride the runway with his 7-year-old son and MC at the event.

"The first one had a great feel about it and it was a real buzz to share it with Val leading up to the event and getting out on the runway with him...he was fizzing," said the veteran of the Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympics.

"It was a great reminder of what cycling is about, what cycling can bring to a family, a community and what it means to Rotorua."

More on the Festival programme: And regular updates: 2015 Video: