The long awaited work will ensure the Airport continues to meet Civil Aviation Authority Certification requirements and will allow bigger planes to use it on a more regular basis.
"Onerahi is the region’s busiest airport and it is vital to the economy of the region that this work be completed, especially with exciting opportunities coming up like the Rugby World Cup in 2011," said WDC Property and Community Services Manager Mike Hibbert.
Work on the $1.5 million project is due to begin this week. EDI Downer will complete the runway and MacKay Electrical will upgrade the lighting.
Half of the design-build contract will be funded by Whangarei District Council, half by the Ministry of Transport.
Work will include a 30m extension of the sealed area at the Western end of the field to create a safety margin within existing Airport boundaries.
Once this work is done larger planes like the Q300 will be able to land on a regular basis. At the moment such landings require special permission.
"There will be no disruption to normal commercial flights as the work will be done outside of the Airport’s normal operating hours (6am to 8pm). Every effort is being made to minimise the disturbance for members of the public living in the area."