Vert neat old large (diameter 1 5/8") rare tin badge commemorating the 'Official Opening' of the new "MANGERE" Auckland Airport in 1966. The site of the airport was first used as an airfield by the Auckland Aero Club. In 1928, the club leased some land from a dairy farmer to accommodate the club's three De Havilland Gypsy Moths. The club president noted at the time that the site "has many advantages of vital importance for an aerodrome and training ground. It has good approaches, is well drained and is free from power lines, buildings and fogs." Prior to rebuilding, this was known as Mangere Aerodrome. In 1960 work started to transform the site into Auckland's main airport, taking over from Whenuapai in the north-west of the city. Much of the runway is on land reclaimed from the Manukau Harbour. The first flight to leave was an Air New Zealand DC-8 in November 1965, bound for Sydney. The airport was officially opened the following year, with a 'grand air pageant' on Auckland Anniversary weekend, 29 January to 31 January 1966. A new international terminal, named after Jean Batten, was built in 1977. Prior to this, all flights used what is now the domestic terminal. In 2005, the international terminal was altered, separating arriving and departing passengers.
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