A controversial private airstrip being built on land on the outskirts of Otane will be reviewed by the Civil Aviation Authority and put up for public consultation.

It is understood top dressing pilot Josh Calder is using land he owns on Elsthorpe Rd for a new airstrip so he can fly direct from his home to his top-dressing business, Rural Air Work, based at the Waipukurau aerodrome.

Construction on the airstrip started at the end of October, infuriating a number of residents in Otane, who claimed they were not consulted about it.

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Calder has declined to comment to Hawke's Bay Today on the subject.

According to the CAA, Calder will use the airstrip, which will be within five nautical miles of another aerodrome, in a way that demands an aerodrome study.

A spokesperson said once the study was complete the CAA would then decide if he was allowed to go ahead with it.

The process takes up to 90 days and involves public consultation.

The study would determine the effect of the aerodrome on the "safe and efficient use of airspace", and on the safety of people and property on the ground.

Factors included were existing aerodromes and airspace used and "existing or proposed man-made objects".

Central Hawke's Bay District Council held a workshop on Thursday, but the subject of the aerodrome was not on the agenda.

A spokesperson said Calder's airstrip was permitted in the current District Plan.


"The chief executive encourages the parties to meet on this matter and as previously offered, she is happy to attend the meeting," a spokesperson said.

Chief Flying Instructor at Waipukurau aerodrome Ross Macdonald, there was no way Calder would be using the personal airstrip to top dress off.

"There's no farmers near him that would need it.

"At the end of his day, he flies back to the base here, puts his plane in the hangar, hops in his vehicle and then drives home.

"The only difference with this is he'll be able to fly straight home, put his plane into the hangar and walk in to see his family.

"Then the next morning, instead of going to Waipuk, he'll fly off to work from his own strip."

MacDonald said Calder's trucks, which were based in Waipukurau, would most likely travel out to the farms he was working on to top up the plane with petrol so he wouldn't have to constantly return to Waipukurau.

A contractor currently creating the airstrip, Barry Neville, said he was supportive of the development.

"We're very happy to support Josh in their venture, it's good growth for the community, he's a good sponsor in the community, so I think it's very positive."